Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, has welcomed the passing of a Dáil motion declaring a climate emergency crisis but said we need emergency action to follow this declaration.

The Sinn Féin TD also commended environmental groups on the extensive Programme of Events they organised around the country for National Biodiversity Week 2019.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“While I welcome the recent Dáil agreement on a motion declaring a climate emergency crisis, we need to know what new measures and approaches this will actually bring.

“The Taoiseach has stated that in his opinion the motion was simply a symbolic declaration. What is needed is emergency action.

“We need urgent action to clean our rivers and seas, to reduce our carbon emissions, and to create a just transition from fossil fuels to renewables. We need ambitious targets and plans, not the Taoiseach celebrating symbolic acts in the face of a climate crisis.

“Sinn Féin shares common ground with other groups and parties in the Oireachtas on many of the climate and environmental priorities of the recently published climate report, but in our view of the challenges facing our planet the recommendations are not ambitious enough. We also oppose the proposed increase carbon taxes that will disproportionately impact on low and middle income families.

“More and more of the general public are gaining greater awareness of the need to protect our habitats and our wildlife.

“Thankfully people are gaining a better understanding of how our environment is connected to our food system, the water we drink, our seas, and the air we breath. It is a delicate eco-system that is under threat from human destruction and climate change.

“It is important we understand how the destruction of habitats and wildlife threatens our own survival on this planet.

“Sinn Féin also submitted a number of proposals to the Oireachtas climate report on biodiversity, highlighting in particular the threat to at-risk species, the importance of hedgerows and the threat to habitats from intensive coniferous afforestation.”

Crowe continued:

“I want to commend and welcome the important work of environmental NGOs and the many community and youth groups around the country who have been advocating for greater ecological protection as part of for National Biodiversity Week 2019

“It is important that we acknowledge the work of organisations such as the Irish Wildlife Trust and the Irish Environmental Network and commend them on the fantastic programme of over 50 free events that they organised throughout the country. It is commendable to see these national organisations working in partnership with local groups and encouraging the participation of young and old in local activities.”