How does any of this affect me?
Climate change, global warming and depleting stocks of fossil fuels will not only affect us - It will affect the generations that follow us.
- Currently we are not on track to achieve our renewable energy targets. The Irish government has conceded that we will miss our 2020 renewable energy targets. The estimated costs associated with missing these targets is €150,000,000 per year and this will involve paying other countries for their surplus carbon credits. This is money going out of Ireland to the benefit of countries how have taken effective climate action and who are now reaping the rewards. This is €150,000,000 that could alternatively be spent on education, health, transport or rural development etc. in this country.
- Extreme weather events that we have seen in recent years are the first really noticeable manifestation of climate change. Continuing the pump greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere will lead to a significant worsening of our weather for generations to come. CO2 is one of the biggest contributors to climate change. Wind energy is Irelands greatest asset in combating the effects of Climate change.
- The EPA reports that 3 people die prematurely every day in Ireland directly as a result of poor air quality
- Urban settlements situated on major inland rivers such as the River Shannon and towns along the coast will experience more frequent and more severe flooding.
- Ireland's agricultural industry will face severe challenges. This will be in terms of more severe weather events, challenges in terms of changing disease controls, and challenges in terms of policy changes aimed at reducing carbon emissions.
- Infrastructure - Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) has warned that drainage channels and culverts around older bridges may have to be replaced as a result of the increased volumes of water associated with climate change and Irish Water have said that increased flooding could hamper the ability of their plants to provide clean and safe drinking water.
- EU and government policy which are centered around moving Europe and Ireland towards low carbon economies will affect policy into the future. This will have a knock on impact on the way in which we carry on our daily lives
- Should Ireland not tackle its imported fossil fuel dependencies, we will not only be exposed to any volatility that accompanies the importation of fuel, but we will also continue to depend on commodities whose reserves are finite.
- It is now accepted within the scientific community that unless action is taken to limit global temperature increase to 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels, climate change will have serious and dramatic impacts all of our ways of life