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Catching up on Climate

Posted by Catherine Devitt on June 17, 2020 at 10:45 PM

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Following the general election this year, Friends of the Earth have been hosting TD call-a-thons with people from across the country. Calling TDs is a really effective way for constituents to communicate their concerns to their political representatives, and influence them to take action.

Engaging with TDs can be intimidating, it can be hard to muster up the courage to do this alone. That’s why we decided to bring people together!

Each online call-a-thon involved a quick briefing on the issues to discuss with TDs and space for people to ask questions to our climate policy experts. Then everyone called their TDs. Together we contacted almost every TD in Ireland - and many more than once!

Aside from this being such a great way to meet more of our supporters face to face, it was amazing to hear feedback from people who called their TDs, sense the impact that was made and to see peoples confidence increase each time we called more TDs together.

These call-a-thons have been a huge success (they even made RTÉ news!) and you can be sure there will be more actions like this in the near future once the new government has been formed to keep the pressure on for faster and fairer climate action!

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Together with other partners of the Stop Climate Chaos coalition, we wrote to political parties calling on them to confront the climate emergency with the same determination as Covid-19.

Stop Climate Chaos have repeatedly called on all parties involved in government talks to ensure that fairer and faster climate action is at the centre of negotiations and the next Programme for Government. A key debate in the talks centred around commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 7% per annum over the lifetime of the next Government.

In April we published this article to outline the scientific rationale behind the 7% figure, why it is important and what it means. We also invited our supporters to join an informative webinar on the topic with climatologist Professor John Sweeney and environmental scientist Dr. Cara Augustenborg. You can watch the recording here at this link.

The issue of agriculture and how to reduce rising emissions from the sector was reported as being a key sticking point in government talks. Stop Climate Chaos prepared a briefing outlining the latest science and what needs to happen in agriculture if Ireland is to reduce its total emissions by at least 7% a year. Stop Climate Chaos hosted a webinar on this topic, ‘What contribution can Irish agriculture make to Climate Action?’, in May, which you can watch the recording of here at this link.

Thanks to so many of our supporters who donated to our fundraiser in May - we commissioned an opinion poll to find out what Ireland thinks about climate action. The results showed overwhelming public support for greater government action to reduce polluting emissions. The headline findings include 9 out of 10 people saying that the government should be guided by science and expert advice on climate action as they have been on Covid-19. And 71% saying the next government will be failing the people of Ireland if they do not act now to combat climate change. Read our press release to find out more.

As parties now await member votes on the Programme For Government, we are getting ourselves ready for our next campaign actions to make sure that the next government commits to and acts on climate that ensures a safe world for people and nature, now and into the future.

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