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Climate Change requires international cooperation and commitment - Mary Lou McDonald

16 November, 2004


Sinn Féin MEP for Dublin Mary Lou McDonald has today said that EU strategy towards climate change requires "a much more focussed approach if we are to effectively tackle global warming".

Ms McDonald was speaking prior to a debate on a resolution to ratify the EU strategy for Climate Change. The strategy is due to be presented to a conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina in December 2004.

Speaking from Strasbourg Ms McDonald said:

"Climate Change is one of the most important issues facing humanity at present. The earth is getting warmer every year, a recent report by the European Environment Agency indicated that Europe is warming faster than the rest of the globe. It has been estimated that 7 billion tonnes of carbon is released into the atmosphere every year.

"Whilst the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol by 126 countries is to be welcomed, regrettably others have not followed suit. If we are to successfully wrestle with the issue of climate change, then a much greater effort is required by individual countries and industry.

"A much more focussed approached is required to effectively tackle global warming. At home, the government stands accused of neglecting their responsibilities, having failed to implement EU environment legislation on time. A survey looking at environmental law in 2003 found that throughout the old 15 member states, there were 88 separate occasions when EU environment legislation was not implemented in national law within the specified timeframe. Ireland was amongst the worst offenders.

"Progress in this area requires greater pressure being placed on those who have yet to actively commit to addressing climate change. Environmental threats transcend borders and Sinn Féin is committed to playing its part in bringing forward and supporting policies which effectively combat climate change." ENDS

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