A week after the Irish parliament declared a climate and biodiversity emergency, hundreds of protesters gathered in front of the Dail to urge the government to take action. The ‘Act Now’ rally, which took place earlier this month, highlighted the failure of Irish politicians to translate their words into concrete action.
Extinction Rebellion Ireland, the Irish branch of a global grassroot movement, hosted the rally which was attended by citizens as well as members of various organisations advocating for climate action, including Friends of the Earth, Stop Climate Chaos and Climate Case Ireland.
The speakers ranged from climate activists, to students and journalists, who all pointed out the lack of ambition of the Irish government, after Minister for Climate Action Richard Bruton said that Ireland “still needs to rely fossil fuels” to generate energy.
The rally’s youngest speaker, 10 year old Ruby, regretted that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that the climate emergency declaration is largely “symbolic” and “a gesture”. She said: “I have learned a new word, hypocrisy. I don’t understand the words ‘symbolic’ and a ‘gesture’ very well but was told that these words are largely symbolic of hypocrisy.”
In May, Ireland became the second country in the world to declare a climate and biodiversity emergency, a few weeks after the UK. In London, the declaration was followed by similar protests organised by the UK branch of Extinction Rebellion.
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Video courtesy of Rachel Halpin