Climate change: Getting our own house in order

Climate change: Getting our own house in order

THERE were two global developments on climate change yesterday – one gloomy and one hopeful — while, at home, new levies on plastic bags, disposable cups and waste disposal have been proposed by the Government.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron have declared that the Paris climate pact is “irreversible”, after the United States formally withdrew from the accord this week.

At the same time, more than 11,000 scientists in 153 nations have endorsed a newly published statement on climate change. The statement, published in the journal BioScience, declares that “the climate crisis has arrived and is accelerating faster than most scientists expected. We declare clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency. To secure a sustainable future, we must change how we live.”

That was also the message from Minister Richard Bruton as he announced measures he said were aimed at encouraging more sustainable behaviour and were a key part of the Government’s Climate Action Plan.

The scientists’ warning makes any adverse reaction to the Irish government’s so-called ‘latte levy’ a storm in a disposable tea-cup. Considering the crisis before us, refraining from using disposable cups is not a lot to ask but could make a real contribution to more sustainable living.

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