I am committed to climate change, on a personal and professional level. I am lucky enough to wake up to the sunrise every single day, to walk across grass fields as I tend to my farm. I listen to my first few breaths everyday outdoors, without car noise, without pollution, without central heating and to the backdrop of birdsong and animals. My presence in my environment severely heightens my concern and awareness of the continuous damage inflicted on our planet on a catastrophic level.
Ireland has declared a National Climate and Biodiversity Emergency. Declaring an emergency means absolutely nothing unless there is action to back it up. That means the Government having to do things they don't want to do. It’s time for radical action. Our efforts have not been good enough and our target emissions are no where near what they should be. Nine years ago Ireland was given a target to, by 2020, reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses to 20% below what they were in 2005. It's frightening to see we will only have reduced emissions by less than 1% come 2020. But experts believe we can get there by 2030 and if thats the case, now is the real time for drastic action.
The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) have said that despite the lack of progress, there is an increase in public awareness of the impact of climate change. Climate change is no longer in the future, it is now. It needs to be our alarm clock for every new day, before we switch a light on, before we provide food for our families and before we start the car, we need to start each action of our day with climate change at the forefronts of our minds. Climate action needs to power every decision we make. Awareness is evident amongst powerful young activists such as Greta Thunberg and her global surge of school strikes for climate change that really enforces our focus on what kind of future are we creating for children.
Information, education and leadership need to be central to climate action here in West Cork. We have stunning countryside and an incredible coastline which not only need protection but need enhancing with strict environmental policy.