Young People leading from the front on Climate Change - David Cullinane TD
Speaking today in support of students striking for climate change, David Cullinane, Sinn Féin spokesperson for Climate Action, said the number of Irish students striking today in their thousands up and down the country should deliver a clear and powerful message to the Irish Government that Ireland's inaction on climate change won’t be tolerated by our younger generations.
Deputy Cullinane said:
“Today’s direct action being taken by students all across our country should send a very clear signal to our Ministers in Government that younger generations have recognised the critical issues facing their generation and have decided to make their voices heard.
“As future voting citizens, they have every right to inform government about what direction they want to see policy moving. The global student strike which was called by the 16 year-old schoolgirl Greta Thunberg who began striking outside the Swedish Parliament last August has gathered incredible momentum internationally.
“Today, students from schools across Ireland are joining the global Schools Strike for Climate Action as well. Marches have been organised in Dublin and Cork there will be strike events outside local authority offices in counties from Tralee to Donegal, Meath to Galway, and locally at school gates across the country.
“Climate change needs to be tackled in a progressive way that combines social justice and fairness with the obvious environmental needs. The next twelve years will be instrumental in determining the future of our planet and Ireland and the EU need to significantly step up their climate change commitments.
“For the last decade, the EU and Ireland’s approach to climate change has failed by allowing big polluters a cheap way out. Market solutions haven’t worked. Carbon taxes don’t work.
“It’s time we stopped big oil and gas companies having free reign in the European Parliament and ended their influence on Climate Change policy.
“We need to fully enforce binding targets on the biggest polluters and ensure a full decarbonisation of our economies before 2050, including a phase out date for fossil fuels.
“That means acknowledging that those who contribute the least to climate change are the ones who suffer its gravest consequences and the burden of tackling climate change must be distributed proportionately.
“It is heartening to see young people demanding that politicians do more to tackle climate change and Sinn Féin is up to the challenge.”