On April 11th, the Irish Independent published a story “Irish Government defends moving against Swiss grannies who are fighting for the climate”.
The article details a case taken by KlimaSeniorinnen (Senior Women for Climate) to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
Ireland is one of two countries volunteering verbal arguments against the KlimaSeniorinnen, who argue the Swiss government are not acting adequately to protect the health and lives of their population in the face of the climate emergency.
It shocked me to learn Ireland is not supportive of this case, so much as arguing that the ECHR does not guarantee people the right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment.
What is the supposed role of government in society if not to provide these attributes to its population?
Ireland was the second country to declare a climate and biodiversity emergency in 2019.
Since then, Irelands’ emissions have continued to outpace our carbon budget. We are not playing our part in reducing emissions within the context of historical emissions of the Global North.
Shouldn’t the government exist to ensure our waterways are free from pollution? To prevent the decline of biodiversity?
To ensure our air is clean and safe to breathe? To ensure young people in Ireland can grow up confident of the future environment awaiting them?
If the state will not protect us, we must endeavour to protect each other.
Is mise le meas,
Criodán Ó Murchú
An Taisce Climate Committee Member