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Over 600 people to meet their TDs online for climate talks as the Paris Agreement turns five

3 Dec 2020

"Zooming to Zero" event on Monday 7th will push for faster and fairer climate action to eliminate polluting emissions

 

Stop Climate Chaos Coalition

For Immediate Release

Thursday 3rd December 2020

 

Constituents from across Ireland will meet their TDs during a mass online Lobby for Faster and Fairer Climate Action next Monday, 7th December. They will voice their climate concerns and demand that loopholes in the 2020 Climate Action Bill be closed [1]. Nineteen “One Future” local climate action groups have also sprang up across the country, organising people from the same constituency to meet their TDs in groups. Children as young as six are also preparing for the Lobby. Minna, aged nearly 7, from Cork has sent a compelling video to Micheál Martin which can be viewed here [2].

The “Zooming to Zero Pollution” TD Lobby takes place as the Paris Climate Agreement reaches its fifth anniversary on 12th December [3]. Ahead of crucial UN talks on implementing the Agreement next November, citizens attending the lobby will ask their TDs to ensure Ireland does its fair share of the global effort required to meet the Paris goals.

 

Áine O’Gorman, Mobilisation Coordinator with the Stop Climate Chaos coalition said:

“The Paris Agreement was the starting gun for the race of a lifetime, the race to eliminate our polluting emissions fast enough to avoid complete climate breakdown and fairly enough to leave no one behind.

Our Zooming to Zero online lobby of TDs is a chance for constituents to let their public representatives know how much they care about climate change.

With four days still to go until the Lobby, it’s fantastic to see such enthusiasm for the event, with over 600 people and almost 70 TDs already signed up. Despite so many other challenges this year, public interest in climate action has never been higher.”

 

Romie Cullen of the Clare TD Lobby for Faster and Fairer Climate Action said:

"In Clare, people from our community are taking part in the TD lobby because we're alarmed about loopholes in the Climate Bill."
“We’ll be asking our TDs to do everything they can to make the new climate law as strong as possible to drive the rapid and just transition we need to zero pollution. “The draft bill as it stands today is simply not good enough.”

 

Niamh Garvey, Head of Policy and Advocacy in Trócaire, commented:

"Many of the world’s poorest communities, who have done the very least to cause climate change, are already suffering most from its impacts. Not only is Ireland failing to reduce its emissions fast enough but our financial contributions to help poor countries deal with the climate change that rich countries have caused are not sufficient. We must stand in solidarity with these communities as we tackle this global issue. The TD lobby is a crucial opportunity to get these messages across to our TDs as we reach the 5th anniversary of the Paris Agreement."

 

As constituents get ready to talk to their TDs on 7th December, the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action is finalizing its recommendations on amendments to the Climate Action Bill 2020. Citizens taking part in the TD Lobby are concerned about loopholes in the current draft of the Bill [1].

 

Áine O’ Gorman concluded:

“Talking to TDs can be a daunting prospect for many people - so their willingness to step up and take part in this lobby really shows how passionate people are about climate issues.

We hope that TDs will step up to the plate too - and not leave their constituents disappointed.”

 

So far, 69 TDs have signed up to meet their constituents during the TD Lobby on 7th December.

Of the Government parties, 75% of Green TDs, 32% of Fianna Fáil TDs and 20% of Fine Gael TDs have so far committed to attend the TD Lobby. On the opposition side, Aontú's one TD has committed to attend. 83% of Social Democrats, 67% of Labour, 62% of Sinn Féin and 60% of Solidarity - People Before Profit TDs respectively have committed to meet their constituents at the TD Lobby. 5 Independent TDs have committed to the Lobby. Stop Climate Chaos hopes and expects that more TDs will commit to the event before 7th December.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the TD Lobby will take place on Zoom, using different breakout rooms for each constituency. The TD Lobby is being organised by the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition [4].

ENDS

Notes


1. Stop Climate Chaos has published a set of recommendations for how loopholes in the Climate Bill can be closed. They are available at https://www.stopclimatechaos.ie/news/2020/11/16/climate-bills-ambition-must-be-increased-and-looph/

2. Minna's vidoe message can be viewed at https://twitter.com/nickibopp/status/1328233713612754944?s=20 .Email deirdre@foe.ie for the raw video file.

3. Constituents can register for the TD Lobby at https://www.stopclimatechaos.ie/takeaction/

4. Stop Climate Chaos (SCC) is a coalition of civil society organisations campaigning to ensure Ireland plays its part in preventing runaway climate change. It was launched in 2007 and is the largest network of organisations campaigning for action on climate change in Ireland. Its membership includes development, environmental, youth and faith-based organisations. Its members are: Afri, An Taisce, BirdWatch Ireland, Christian Aid Ireland, Comhlámh, Community Work Ireland, Clare PPN, Concern Worldwide, Cultivate, Cyclist.ie, Dublin Friends of the Earth, Eco Congregation Ireland, ECO UNESCO, Feasta, Fossil Free TCD, Friends of the Earth, Friends of the Irish Environment, Goal, Good Energies Alliance Ireland, Irish Climate and Health Alliance, Irish Heart Foundation, Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, Just Forests, Latin America Solidarity Centre (LASC), Liberia Solidarity Group, Methodist Church of Ireland – Council of Social Responsibility, Mountmellick Environmental Group, National Youth Council of Ireland, Oxfam Ireland, Peoples’ Climate Ireland, Presentation Ireland, Self Help Africa, Tearfund Ireland, Trócaire, VITA, VOICE, and Young Friends of the Earth.

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