Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Joint statement demands action on global warming

9 June, 2005

Sinn Féin Environment Spokesperson, North Antrim MLA Philip McGuigan has welcomed the unprecedented statement from 11 of the world‚s leading scientific academics on global warning and said that this clear warning demands action.

Mr McGuigan said:

"When 11 of the world's most influential science academics, including the heads of the science academies of Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, Britain and the US warn world leaders that the threat of global climate change "is clear and increasing" and that they must act immediately to begin addressing its causes and consequences it is time to take it seriously.

"The evidence is there what we now need to see are definite plans and timetables that all countries will sign up to adhere to. We need to put in place strategies to tackle global warning in Ireland, across the EU and globally.

"It is over 7 years since the Kyoto and next year the treaty should finally come into force. Yet we need to begin looking ahead to the successor to Kyoto because it does not come close to solving the problem of climate change. Kyoto is only the first step in a long journey.

"The Kyoto protocol involves modest reductions of less than 5%. The US does not support it, developing nations do not have to make any cuts and it expires in 2012. Many argue that we need to set the bar higher and that only drastic cuts in global emissions of CO2, of two-thirds or more, can stop the concentration of the gas rising ever higher and more severe climate change.

"Long term progress rely on greater pressure on the US, which emits eight times as much CO2 per head of population as China and 18 times as much as India, and on abandoning Kyoto-style piecemeal negotiations on individual national targets in favour of a global plan to cap concentrations of greenhouse gases. More ambitious targets to cap the concentration of green house gases requires a real commitment and major changes to the manufacturing process, to the way that energy is generated, as oil and natural gas supplies dwindle, and to our lifestyle.

"We need strategies at global, European, regional, national and local level to adapt to climate change. Sinn Fein believe that we need to see the establishment of an All Ireland Environmental Protection Agency to drive forward a strong environmental programme of enforcement and to stand up to the powerful vested interests who refuse to live up to obligations on emissions and pollution.

"Climate change cannot be ignored. Sinn Fein is demanding:

  • Meaningful emissions targets for industry
  • Economic inducement for industry to reduce emissions and create incentives for industry innovation to develop clean technologies and to improve energy efficiency.
  • The realisation of Kyoto goals within the agreed time-frame including the introduction of carbon taxes on energy users capable of making the change to lower emitting fuels.

"For any part of this island to attempt to buy its way to compliance with obligations under Kyoto through emissions trading is irresponsible because it will do nothing to actually reduce greenhouse gas levels. Ireland must play its part in tackling global warming." ENDS

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