The Paris Agreement on Climate Change of 12 December 2015 was a remarkable outcome in getting  the commitment of 196 countries to holding the increase in global temperatures to well below 2 degrees over  pre-industrial levels so as to significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change . They also agreed to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees.

* The scientific evidence demonstrates that  climate change now being experienced  is predominantly the result of human activity which has led to unprecedented levels of Green House Gases ( GHGs) around our planet with consequent dramatic impacts on our climate

* The results are increasingly apparent  : the record rainfall , river floods and high seas experienced in Ireland and Britain in recent months  bring hardship in its wake ;  the sad melting of glaciers in Greenland, the Artic and Antarctic seas  . The year  2014 was the warmest globally since reliable records were kept !

* However, the pledges given by the countries at the Paris Convention are not sufficient to achieve the target of less than 2 degree increase in global warming .

*  I have encountered strong interest by local people , and particularly young people , in the  implications of Climate Change not just for Ireland but for Planet Earth .  They want more engagement about Ireland’s commitment to climate change and our intentions to contribute to the EU commitments included in the Paris agreement.

There has been exceptional interest in the  public meetings I organised  on Climate Change . The first one entitled “ Climate Change Crunch Time “  was addressed by Professor John Sweeney on November 12 .    A  follow-up meeting was on the theme  “ Paris Climate Deal and Ireland “  on January 14th with guest speakers Dr Cara Augustenborg , Chair of Friends of the Earth Ireland and Paul Melia , Environment Editor at  the Irish Independent .

Senator Mary White

Fianna Fáll spokeperson on Jobs Enterprise and Innovation.

An Advocate for a new Approach to Childcare, Ageing & Ageism and sucide Prevention

Tel: +353 1 618 3820
Fax: +353 1 618 4046
Mobile: +353 86 256 0533
Email: mwhite@oireachtas.ie

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