New science on carbon budgets shows we must act now to cut emissions.
The IPCC report is clear and unequivocal. Climate change at a speed unprecedented in all human experience is happening now as a result of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon emissions continue to accelerate due to humanity’s burning of fossil fuels, including coal, peat, oil and gas. Deforestation and agriculture, especially with increasing dairy and meat production are also adding to greenhouse emissions.
New science in this fifth IPCC assessment shows that the amount of future global warming is directly related to the total amount of accumulating human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases – past, present, and future, they all add up. If our emissions continue to rise then temperatures will continue to rise, extreme weather will be more frequent, sea level will rise ever faster, and more land and sea ice will be lost. Only sustained and substantial emission reductions by all nations, especially by wealthy ones like Ireland, can limit climate change and reduce future severe risks to our future.
To date Ireland has failed to limit emissions, and only unintended economic recession has reduced them. As we are not managing our emissions the Environmental Protection Agency projects that with economic growth Ireland is on a pathway of ever-increasing carbon emission adding to increased risk for us and all future generations, a path that is Ireland’s contribution to dangerous climate change. We must choose a different path, one of rapid decarbonisation and if we act quickly and effectively we can succeed.
An Taisce calls on all of Ireland’s leaders and citizens – in government, in business, in agriculture and among us all – to jointly heed the IPCC’s ever stronger warnings. Together we must all ensure that Ireland plans to peak emissions now and decrease emissions rapidly in every year thereafter. Understanding and planning among all sectors are vital to make this in transition happen as quickly and equitably as possible within Ireland and among nations.
We urge Ireland and the EU to push for a global agreement at Paris in 2015 to limit global cumulative total emissions. Without such an agreement our ‘emissions savings’ will likely be spent elsewhere or in the future. By urging agreement on a global carbon cap in Paris, and in cutting emissions rapidly from now on, we in Ireland can make a difference. The IPCC and science has given us due notice.
To create hope for the next generations, we in Ireland must respond.
For further information, please call:
John Gibbons, An Taisce Climate Change Committee Tel +353 87 233 2689
James Nix, Policy Director, An Taisce Tel: +353 86 8394129
Charles Stanley-Smith, Communications, An Taisce Tel: +353 87 2411995
An Taisce The National Trust for Ireland