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We're taking to the phones - Join us for Earth Day

Posted by Friends of the Earth on April 22, 2020 at 12:01 PM


Climate campaigners are taking to the phones for Earth Day today to participate in the online call-a-thon which is supporting people to call their TD's about climate action today between 5-6pm.

Activists will gather in an online conference call, and will then individually phone their TD's. Their simple request is that faster and fairer climate action forms a central part of the Programme for Government.

Aine O'Gorman of the Stop Climate Chaos coalition commented, "This is a new way of campaigning for all of us. We cannot meet in person, so we are taking to the phones together this evening to make sure our politicians continue to hear our call for climate action. This is our third call-a-thon and we have found it is a very effective way of supporting people to take that step and actually speak to their TD. Making sure our elected representatives know what is important to us is essential. Phoning them to tell them is empowering. Over 900 people have already emailed their TDs in the past week. 

Participants can register to attend here, and then will be given the link and password to join the online call. Journalists and members of the media are welcome to join.

Climate Campaigner Lucy Glendinning, who has particiapted in the call-a-thon previously said
"My experience was definitely positive and was something I would never have previously done. I think many of us are so removed from politicians, we feel we can’t/shouldn’t contact them directly. At the end of the day they are just ordinary people like us, many with no particular skills who have often followed in the footsteps of a parent or just moved on from being a councillor.I managed to make contact with four out of the five in my constituency by phone. I was nervous to begin with but at the end of the day I felt that because the message I was relaying was so uncontroversial, those I spoke to could do nothing really but agree with me. It’s easy to relay a message when you believe what you are saying and you know it makes sense to the person on the other end of the phone.

As negotiations for Government intensify, climate campaigners express disappointment at the lack of detail on cliamte and enviornmental concerns within the framework published by Fianna Fail and Fine Gael. The document is alarmingly lacking in science. Friends of the Earth, along with the One Future Campaign for Faster and Fairer Climate Action has been consistently calling for faster and fairer climate action with a number of policy asks for the Programme for Government. The first demand is that political parties commit to delivering reductions in greenhouse gas emissions of at the very least 8% a year over the lifetime of the next Government - in other words, the legally binding carbon budget for the period 2021 to 2025 would be equivalent to 8% reductions every year compared to 2020. Other asks inlcude,

  • Substantial government investment in public transport.
  • Delivery of a nationwide deep retrofit programme.
  • Ending the use of peat and coal by 2021 and ensuring a just transition for affected workers and their communities.
  • Support for communities to develop and own renewable energy projects.
  • Ending support for any new fossil fuel exploration and infrastructure, including LNG.
  • Increasing Ireland’s contribution to international climate finance.
  • Alignment of agriculture and land-use policies with Ireland’s climate obligations.
  • Establishment of a Citizens’ Assembly on nature loss before mid-2020.

Sadhbh O'Neill, advisor with the Stop Climate Chaos coalition, said

The next Government must unite behind the science and act urgently and decisively to put Ireland back on track. The minimum 8% reductions needed per annum over the lifetime of the next Government is what climate science and expert-advice indicates is required if Ireland is to bend the emissions curve in line with its climate obligations.”
“This is the very minimum that Ireland should be doing.

A detailed policy briefing for achieving faster and fairer climate action during the life of the next Government, published by Stop Climate Choas is available to download here.

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