Local Green Party Councillor reflects on Climate Action Plan 2021

Local Green Party Councillor, Louise Heavin, this week spoke to the Athlone Advertiser and reflected in detail upon the recent publication, by Government, of the Climate Action Plan 2021.

“Last week, the Government, in which my political party plays an integral role, launched the new Climate Action Plan. This is the latest in a series of actions by the Government to face up to the very real and ever more serious threat of the Climate and Biodiversity Crisis.

“Following on from the Climate Act, passed this year with cross-party support, this plan takes the carbon budgets set out by the Climate Change Advisory Council and turns them into clear, comprehensive targets that will put Ireland on track to achieve our ambitious emissions targets.

“There’s no doubt that these targets will be difficult to achieve. They will involve deep and systemic changes in how we live, work and travel and our relationship with the natural world around us. But there is no longer any doubt either of the need for real and urgent change.

“The science is indisputable and the effects already clear. Extreme weather events are becoming more frequent with devastating consequences.

“Climate change is here and is already impacting our world, with risks to global security including food supplies. Ireland is also at risk of more frequent storms and flooding.

“As the world gathers in Glasgow to tackle global warming, Ireland is taking decisive action to halve our emissions by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050. We know we must act, and by acting now we can build a cleaner, greener economy and society, one which creates opportunities for us all,” Cllr Heavin asserted.

What We Need To Do

Cllr Heavin noted the urgent need to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases consumers are dispersing into the atmosphere to have any hope of limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees, keeping our earth habitable and our ecosystems functioning.

“The Citizens Assembly and the all-party Oireachtas committee unanimously backed Ireland taking ambitious Climate Action. This ambition was central to the Programme for Government and the Climate Act 2021 won an overwhelming majority in the Dáil, giving a clear mandate to take action now.

“In the Programme for Government and the Climate Act 2021, Ireland has committed to halving our greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050 at the latest,” Cllr Heavin commented.

What Will It Mean For How We Live

The local Green Party Councillor is firmly of the view that relevant action taken now will help to build a new and better community, both at a local and national level.

“In Athlone, I’m proud that we are funding orchards and wildflower planting, installing drinking water points, building a greenway through the town and improving our town bus service.

“I want to see a county where we rise to this challenge and seize the opportunities, a [local area] where our communities are healthy and secure, enjoy cleaner air and water, and where homes are warmer and cheaper to heat; where thousands of new jobs are created by investing in new areas like renewable energy, the circular and cutting-edge agriculture; where walking and cycling are safe and accessible, public transport is cleaner and more frequent, and the rollout of electric vehicles is supported nationwide and where farm families and farm incomes are protected as we continue to produce world-class food in a way that protects nature, reduces emissions and promotes biodiversity in our fields, forests, rivers and streams.

“The Government has a responsibility to step in to provide support to the people and sectors affected and to help make a just transition to a low carbon economy possible. I intend to make sure that we live up to that responsibility.

“I have always been upfront and honest that I am involved in politics for the sake of my children’s future. Taking ambitious steps to address the climate crisis was the promise I made to my voters, to the young climate strikers, to the schoolchildren I taught as a primary school teacher and to my


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