The European Investment Bank’s decision to divest from fossil fuels

The European Investment Bank’s decision to divest from fossil fuels

The European Investment Bank (EIB) recently announced that it would be phasing out investment in fossil fuel companies by 2021. The EIB is the biggest public lender globally and the move was celebrated by those within the banking industry and the environmental movement. It sends a clear message that markets are moving away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energies, with the EIB positioning itself as the leading ‘Climate Bank’. The President-elect of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, commended the transition and, last week, the European Parliament declared a ‘Climate Emergency’. Two moves that signal Europe aims to take the reigns as leader of climate action, as other world powers shirk the responsibility. 

Cutting financial flows to fossil fuel companies is a necessary step in the transition to clean and renewable energy. Less money in the bank for fossil fuel companies means that less exploration projects will secure funding and less oil rigs, coal plants and fracking-infrastructure built. As Bill McKibben outlines in his essay; “Money Is the Oxygen on Which the Fire of Global Warming Burns”, this will ultimately lead to fossil fuels being kept in the ground. McKibben, who is the founder of 350.org, has long been campaigning for divestment in the fossil fuel industry. He outlines the three financial sectors that need to divest; banking, asset management, and insurance. Once the purse-strings are cut and these companies have to self-fund to insure themselves, they will not be able to survive on financial reserves for long. There are also Government subsidies to think about, but that would require a whole other article. 

The financial industry is conservative and calculated in nature, and when it begins to make large changes the whole world takes heed. To stop investing in fossil fuels is to signal the beginning of the end. Closer to home, AIB in Ireland is positioning itself as the ‘Green Bank’ of Ireland. It has launched a ‘Green Bond Framework’ whereby it will greatly increase the investment available for green projects, and it has also introduced a lower green mortgage rate for houses that meet the highest energy-efficiency standards. 

Critics of the EIB’s decision to move away from fossil fuels have said that 2021 is too far away and that in the meantime, new fossil fuel projects can be funded which would lock the European Union into a ‘dirty future’. Angela Merkel also voiced her concerns that the EIB would not fund natural gas projects as a transition fuel on the way to renewables. This is certainly the beginning of something – but it remains to be seen how long it takes to reach the end. 

 

Photo: Ian Sharp (Flickr)

 

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The European Investment Bank’s decision to divest from fossil fuels

The European Investment Bank (EIB) recently announced that it would be phasing out investment in fossil fuel companies by 2021. The EIB is the biggest public lender globally and the move was celebrated by those within the banking industry and the environmental movement. It sends a clear message that markets are moving away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energies.

What is Ecofeminism?

Ecofeminism is a movement that unites two issues close to our hearts at STAND: women’s rights and the environment. It is perhaps one of the most useful ways we can look at a wide range of social issues we face today. However, the term may be unfamiliar to many.

‘We are the voice, we are the youth and we are the power’: Dublin students unleash rallying cry against the Government’s climate change inaction

The climate strike in Dublin marks the fourth global student strike, and yet the Irish Government has made little progress to show for it.

Climate Case Ireland launch an Appeal

Friday 22nd November marks the day that Climate Case Ireland lodged an appeal for the dismissal of their High Court case from January 2019. The coalition of members of Friends of the Irish Environment Ireland stated that an application has been made to both the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. The group must lie in wait to hear whether the Supreme Court will permit the hearing of their case at this time.

Single-Use Plastics levies: The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly

Last week the Minister for the Environment announced that the Irish Government would be introducing a number of levies aimed at reducing single-use plastics. Two of the most notable levies being a ‘latte levy’ on disposable cups and a plastic bag levy increase. This is good news – so why has there been a murmur of controversy around this announcement?

Climate change: when will we acknowledge our privilege?

The truth about the climate crisis rarely reaches outside a certain cohort of people and often you have to seek this truth for yourself.

What is Ecofeminism?

What is Ecofeminism?

Ecofeminism is a movement that unites two issues close to our hearts at STAND: women’s rights and the environment. It is perhaps one of the most useful ways we can look at a wide range of social issues we face today. 

However, the term may be unfamiliar to many. In essence, ecofeminism is the idea that the oppression of women and the exploitation of our planet’s natural resources are inextricably linked. The movement originated in the 1970s alongside the rise of second-wave feminism and environmental activism. Today, people are increasingly waking up to the fact that different forms of oppression are all linked to one another and ecofeminism is a great example of this intersectional way of thinking. 

There are many fascinating women who have pioneered this movement and continue to do so. The mother of the movement is French feminist Francoise d’Eaubonne who coined the term ‘ecofeminism’ in her 1974 book Le féminisme ou la mort (Feminism or Death) in which she encourages women to take climate action. 

Another vocal ecofeminist is Anika Rahman, a lawyer and human rights activist who views her fight for reproductive rights and her environmental advocacy as being part of the same thread. She is currently Chief Board Relations Officer at the Natural Resources Defense Council, co-founded the Center for Reproductive Rights and was President as CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women. 

Today, Vandana Shiva is possibly the ecofeminist who has gained most notoriety. She was featured in 2015 documentary ‘The True Cost’ which delves into the devastating effects of fast fashion, both on women and the environment. She has also co-authored a book titled Ecofeminism with feminist scholar Maria Mies, which is a fascinating look into the relationships between capitalism, the oppression of women and the ecological degradation. 

There are two main schools of thought regarding ecofeminism: radical feminism and cultural or spiritual ecofeminism. Radical ecofeminism asserts that oppression is perpetuated by patriarchal structures which must be deconstructed if an egalitarian society is to be achieved. It believes that the patriarchy see both women and nature as “wild,” and therefore wishes to have control over them. This is a bit like the feminist idea of “gender as a construct”, which holds that connotations of gender are completely made up ideas used to subjugate women. 

Cultural or spiritual ecofeminism, on the other hand, embraces the idea that women are connected to nature. It asserts that power can be derived from aspects of womanhood such as child-bearing and menstruation which (according to them) make women closer to nature. This view is often criticised by radical ecofeminists who say that this is a trivial comparison and only serves to oppress women further.

However, more important than ecofeminist theory are the concrete issues it aims to tackle. In spite of conflicting views within the movement, there are core ideas that all ecofeminists share, the most important being the belief that women suffer most from the depletion of the planet’s natural resources. 

For example in many Third World countries, such as Ethiopia and Bangladesh, it is women who are in charge of managing natural resources in the home including collecting drinking water and firewood. When natural disasters such as drought (in the case of Ethiopia) or floods (in the case of Bangladesh) occur, women have to work harder to find these resources. This often means that girls will leave school to help their mothers. In some cases, they may completely take over responsibility for the home so their mothers can go out to work and compensate for the impacts of crop destruction on their income. This is just one of the many ways in which women suffer from environmental degradation.

Regardless of your school of feminism, the reality is that women are suffering as a result of the depletion of our planet’s natural resources. It is high time that the systems which harm both women and our planet be interrogated and – eventually – deconstructed entirely.

 

Photo by Cintia Barenho on Flickr

 

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What is Ecofeminism?

Ecofeminism is a movement that unites two issues close to our hearts at STAND: women’s rights and the environment. It is perhaps one of the most useful ways we can look at a wide range of social issues we face today. However, the term may be unfamiliar to many.

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Witches – a History of Misogyny

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Abortion and gay marriage: change is coming in Northern Ireland

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‘We are the voice, we are the youth and we are the power’: Dublin students unleash rallying cry against the Government’s climate change inaction

‘We are the voice, we are the youth and we are the power’: Dublin students unleash rallying cry against the Government’s climate change inaction

On a regular day, in a significantly more regular era, the phrase “school’s out” would result in elation from students (and some teachers). Ever since the now-legendary Greta Thunberg sparked the global youth strikes, the phrase has a more sombre note attached to it.

The climate strike in Dublin marks the fourth global student strike, and yet the Irish Government has made little progress to show for it. Arguably we are regressing, if we take the frustrating Shannon LNG result into account. Fine Gael’s decision to go ahead with the importation of fracked gas to the Shannon Estuary from the US has led to widespread protests and criticism from activists, experts and celebrities.

Ireland’s reputation is increasingly diminishing in the eyes of the world, with consistent failure to reach carbon emission targets, an agricultural and dairy industry pleading for transformation and an abysmal transport system. With this in mind, the school strikes are far more important than we could ever realise. The youth of today will be the ones facing the dire consequences of climate change head on. 

 

After being moved from the front of Dáil Éireann fairly soon into the protest, the large group of students were pushed down the road for the rake of speeches. Chants of “What do we want? Climate action! When do we want it? Now!” rang out with an impressive volume, with a positive atmosphere noted at the event despite the worrying ecological situation. 

The students used their creative skills to make some of the best posters yet, with Leo Varadkar facing many of the jibes after his woeful remarks on the “benefits” of climate change. Multiple speakers stood on the steps of William Plunket’s Kildare Street statue, inspiring the growing crowd throughout.

A list of their demands was read out by a member of Fridays for Future Dublin, with a ban on imported fracking top of the list: 

“We want the Government to realise that their inaction on climate change isn’t going unnoticed. We see the lip service and photo opportunities,” said speaker Amy Cody.

“A pressing issue currently is Shannon LNG. We will be affecting Pennsylvania’s community by ruining their biodiversity, their water and their air pollution. Why should we exploit somewhere else when we are ruining our own country.”

Other demands from the Schools Climate Action include; keeping fossil fuels in the ground, reforming the primary and post-primary education systems to address the need for ecological literacy, implementing every recommendation of the Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change, making transitioning to a CO2-neutral Ireland socially fair, enforcing stronger regulations on the corporations causing the climate crisis and implementing a Green New Deal.

 

16-year-old Conor Slattery spoke of the need to hold CEOs and politicians accountable:

“We know now that we all need to change our behaviour if we want to avoid the climate catastrophe. However, all the household recycling in the world will barely make a dent in the climate change that is underway. Much greater responsibility lies squarely on the shoulders of large institutions such as national Government and global corporations, who can make a huge impact.”

“There are clear, well-researched and proactive steps that could already have been taken by CEOs or politicians, but to maintain tax revenues and additional opportunities for profit, they have stayed quiet, avoided the high road of ethical leadership and – to their shame – done almost nothing,” the teenager added. 

“We are knowledgeable, and watching carefully. What should come first, profit or the planet? They know in their hearts what is right. Greed and fear of loss of power and money is making them cling to outdated and dangerous practices and technologies.” 

Slattery referenced the work of Naomi Klein as he spoke about the need for ethics and morality when attempting to achieve climate justice and a Green New Deal. 

 

Friday’s strike also saw mobilizations in Cork, Ennis, Limerick and Letterkenny. Climate Action Network Europe recently highlighted that Ireland must do more for the earth within the next month, with the country well off-track in meeting its 2020 and 2030 targets according to EPA data. Ireland’s energy efficiency and renewable energy are especially poor areas.

Swedish instigator of the original strike Greta Thunberg is expected to arrive at the annual UN Climate Conference in Madrid on Tuesday, December 2nd, after delays occurred while sailing the Atlantic seas. The Fridays for Future movement is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon, and neither is their 16-year-old inspiration.

The anger, fear and anxiety was palpable from the young speakers, who clearly have an advanced level of knowledge around the area of environmental science and politics. 

 

One highlight from the Dublin strike was an emotional spoken word poem, read by 17-year-old Lucy Holmes:

“We too, were born to the sea, to the flowers, to the field, to the water, to the trees. In this fight, we were never alone. We are waging a war with the place we call home,” she shouts.

“I will no longer stand by watching this carnage, this mass genocide. I will shout at the men in black suits, who burnt down my future, who sell out my youth. You are watching the dawn of a brand new age, a future filled with peace, love and rage.”

 

 

Photo by Kate Brayden

 

Browse more stories below or sign up to our newsletter to receive our top news straight to your inbox!

The European Investment Bank’s decision to divest from fossil fuels

The European Investment Bank (EIB) recently announced that it would be phasing out investment in fossil fuel companies by 2021. The EIB is the biggest public lender globally and the move was celebrated by those within the banking industry and the environmental movement. It sends a clear message that markets are moving away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energies.

What is Ecofeminism?

Ecofeminism is a movement that unites two issues close to our hearts at STAND: women’s rights and the environment. It is perhaps one of the most useful ways we can look at a wide range of social issues we face today. However, the term may be unfamiliar to many.

‘We are the voice, we are the youth and we are the power’: Dublin students unleash rallying cry against the Government’s climate change inaction

The climate strike in Dublin marks the fourth global student strike, and yet the Irish Government has made little progress to show for it.

Climate Case Ireland launch an Appeal

Friday 22nd November marks the day that Climate Case Ireland lodged an appeal for the dismissal of their High Court case from January 2019. The coalition of members of Friends of the Irish Environment Ireland stated that an application has been made to both the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. The group must lie in wait to hear whether the Supreme Court will permit the hearing of their case at this time.

Single-Use Plastics levies: The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly

Last week the Minister for the Environment announced that the Irish Government would be introducing a number of levies aimed at reducing single-use plastics. Two of the most notable levies being a ‘latte levy’ on disposable cups and a plastic bag levy increase. This is good news – so why has there been a murmur of controversy around this announcement?

Climate change: when will we acknowledge our privilege?

The truth about the climate crisis rarely reaches outside a certain cohort of people and often you have to seek this truth for yourself.

Climate Case Ireland launch an Appeal

Climate Case Ireland launch an Appeal

Friday 22nd November marks the day that Climate Case Ireland lodged an appeal for the dismissal of their High Court case from January 2019. The coalition members of Friends of the Irish Environment stated that an application has been made to both the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. The group must lie in wait to hear whether the Supreme Court will permit the hearing of their case at this time. The appeal has been lodged with the hope that the court will overturn the High Court’s ruling, stated in September 2019, that current Irish climate legislation is not unconstitutional. 

Climate Case Ireland was launched by Friends of the Irish Environment in 2018 in response to the National Mitigation Plan, which is an all-government plan aimed at decarbonising the Irish economy. The goals of the plan fall far short of the requirements of the Paris Agreement, which prescribes a reduction of 25-40% in carbon emissions by 2025. Climate Case Ireland claim that the government’s inertia regarding climate action is endangering its citizens and breaching the citizens’ constitutional right to a protected environment.

The case is part of a growing worldwide trend in climate litigation. In desperation, several groups have emerged brandishing law books instead of pickets to hold their governments accountable for their inaction on climate change. The catalyst in Europe for the spread of litigations filed was the landmark Urgenda case in the Netherlands. The judge ruled in favour of Urgenda Climate Case on June 24th 2015. The court demanded the government immediately take more effective action on emissions reduction by a minimum of 25% by the end of 2020; or they would be in breach of the duty of care, prescribed by the European Convention on Human Rights.  The trends in climate litigation are nuanced. In a report conducted by the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy, it was stated that strategic court cases against governments are garnering attention and success. There are an increasing number of climate litigation cases being filed in the US under the themes of federal government transparency, environmental review and permitting, municipality – led suits against fossil fuel companies, public trust doctrine and liability for failure to adapt. 

Climate Case Ireland received a wave of support ahead of the January hearing. A petition circulated prior to the hearing garnered over 18,000 signatures in support and the courtroom was packed full of supporters on all four days of the proceedings. On the fateful September day, despite the unwavering public support and Mr Justice Michael MacGrath’s admittance that climate change is a very serious issue, the case was dismissed. The decision was made on the basis that current legislation does not directly jeopardise the public’s right to a safe environment and should not be viewed in isolation of other climate policy measures. He also referred to the separation of powers, stating that it would be inappropriate for the courts to prescribe how the government ought to legislate. 

With Ireland traditionally being a laggard in Europe on climate policy, FIE hope to fight the decision made by Mr. Justice MacGrath and have the ruling overturned. The group hopes to ‘galvanise a movement pushing for ambitious and urgent action’.

 

 

 

Photo of Climate Case Ireland’s team in front of the Four Courts, by Rachel Husson

Video by Climate Case Ireland on Twitter.

 

Browse more stories below or sign up to our newsletter to receive our top news straight to your inbox!

 

 

The European Investment Bank’s decision to divest from fossil fuels

The European Investment Bank (EIB) recently announced that it would be phasing out investment in fossil fuel companies by 2021. The EIB is the biggest public lender globally and the move was celebrated by those within the banking industry and the environmental movement. It sends a clear message that markets are moving away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energies.

What is Ecofeminism?

Ecofeminism is a movement that unites two issues close to our hearts at STAND: women’s rights and the environment. It is perhaps one of the most useful ways we can look at a wide range of social issues we face today. However, the term may be unfamiliar to many.

‘We are the voice, we are the youth and we are the power’: Dublin students unleash rallying cry against the Government’s climate change inaction

The climate strike in Dublin marks the fourth global student strike, and yet the Irish Government has made little progress to show for it.

Climate Case Ireland launch an Appeal

Friday 22nd November marks the day that Climate Case Ireland lodged an appeal for the dismissal of their High Court case from January 2019. The coalition of members of Friends of the Irish Environment Ireland stated that an application has been made to both the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. The group must lie in wait to hear whether the Supreme Court will permit the hearing of their case at this time.

Single-Use Plastics levies: The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly

Last week the Minister for the Environment announced that the Irish Government would be introducing a number of levies aimed at reducing single-use plastics. Two of the most notable levies being a ‘latte levy’ on disposable cups and a plastic bag levy increase. This is good news – so why has there been a murmur of controversy around this announcement?

Climate change: when will we acknowledge our privilege?

The truth about the climate crisis rarely reaches outside a certain cohort of people and often you have to seek this truth for yourself.

Single-Use Plastics levies: The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly

Single-Use Plastics levies: The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly

Last week the Minister for the Environment Richard Bruton announced that the Irish Government would be introducing a number of levies aimed at reducing single-use plastics. Two of the most notable levies being a ‘latte levy’ on disposable cups of between 10 and 25 cents, and a plastic bag levy increase of 3 cents on the current levy of 22 cents. This is good news – so why has there been a murmur of controversy around this announcement?

 

The Good:

Plastic waste is a huge environmental issue and the fact that the Government is noticing and making moves to remediate this is a good thing. Ireland is the top plastic waste producer in Europe, with each person producing on average 61kg of plastic waste per year. Recycling, once hailed as a cure that would allow us to continue buying as much plastic as we liked so long as it went in the green bin, has gravely disappointed in its reality. It is estimated that only 30% of plastic waste within the EU is recycled. Seeing as this is inherently a problem of overconsumption, levies such as the plastic bag tax are to be welcomed as they discourage production in the first place. 

 

The Bad: 

The Environment Minister has been criticized for delaying action on installing a plastic bottle deposit and return scheme in Ireland, a scheme which the Green Party have been pushing for. This would involve paying an upfront ‘deposit’ on single-use plastic bottles and once you dropit to a recycling centre, you get that deposit back. This system is currently in use in many countries across Europe and has been successful in reducing waste. This, in combination with the levies already put forward, would help to redeem Ireland’s environmental reputation.  

Another issue is that the latte levy has left small coffee shops feeling disadvantaged as large coffee chains like Costa and Starbucks will find it much easier to pay such a levy. The announcement also left certain environmentalist groups frustrated as it doesn’t target the bulk of the problem. The proposed levies don’t tackle the items that are responsible for the majority of plastic in the ocean; fishing nets. It is estimated that almost half of ocean plastic is from discarded fishing nets and if this is to be tackled it means tighter regulations on fishing activities and reduced consumption of seafood. 

 

The Ugly: 

Plastic is a ‘hot topic’ at the moment and the Irish government knows that. It is much easier to introduce a few levies on bags and cups than to acknowledge the large elephant in the room – Ireland’s inaction on climate change. Ireland is consistently ranked as a ‘climate laggard’ and has the third highest emissions per capita in the EU. A latte levy won’t even begin to fix this, and installing a Liquified Natural Gas terminal in the West of Ireland that uses fracked gas certainly won’t. Yes, even slight progress on environmental issues is positive and should be commended, but slight progress is nowhere near the rate of change that is needed on environmental issues right now.

 

Photo by Michael on flickr

 

Browse more stories below or sign up to our newsletter to receive our top news straight to your inbox!

The European Investment Bank’s decision to divest from fossil fuels

The European Investment Bank (EIB) recently announced that it would be phasing out investment in fossil fuel companies by 2021. The EIB is the biggest public lender globally and the move was celebrated by those within the banking industry and the environmental movement. It sends a clear message that markets are moving away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energies.

What is Ecofeminism?

Ecofeminism is a movement that unites two issues close to our hearts at STAND: women’s rights and the environment. It is perhaps one of the most useful ways we can look at a wide range of social issues we face today. However, the term may be unfamiliar to many.

‘We are the voice, we are the youth and we are the power’: Dublin students unleash rallying cry against the Government’s climate change inaction

The climate strike in Dublin marks the fourth global student strike, and yet the Irish Government has made little progress to show for it.

Climate Case Ireland launch an Appeal

Friday 22nd November marks the day that Climate Case Ireland lodged an appeal for the dismissal of their High Court case from January 2019. The coalition of members of Friends of the Irish Environment Ireland stated that an application has been made to both the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. The group must lie in wait to hear whether the Supreme Court will permit the hearing of their case at this time.

Single-Use Plastics levies: The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly

Last week the Minister for the Environment announced that the Irish Government would be introducing a number of levies aimed at reducing single-use plastics. Two of the most notable levies being a ‘latte levy’ on disposable cups and a plastic bag levy increase. This is good news – so why has there been a murmur of controversy around this announcement?

Climate change: when will we acknowledge our privilege?

The truth about the climate crisis rarely reaches outside a certain cohort of people and often you have to seek this truth for yourself.

Climate change: when will we acknowledge our privilege?

Climate change: when will we acknowledge our privilege?

I was out for dinner with some friends this time last year and after the waiter took our order, one of them turned to me and asked me why I was vegetarian. I told him that although there were several reasons, it was primarily an effort to reduce my carbon footprint. The conversation inevitably turned to climate change to which he contributed: “sure we don’t have to worry about that for another 30 or 40 years”. His comment, the product of benign ignorance, struck me for a number of reasons. I realised that the truth about the climate crisis rarely reaches outside a certain cohort of people and often you have to seek this truth for yourself. I was also struck by the realisation that we in Ireland carry a certain privilege which many other people in the world do not. 

That memory resurfaced this week when Leo Varadkar made comments regarding the “benefits” of climate change to Irish people, including lower heating bills and fewer deaths due to warmer winters. His comments have been subjected to much criticism; and rightly so. They represent a willful ignorance of the impact that climate change is already having to many people beyond our shores, without mentioning what is yet to come for Ireland. At the core of his message is a display of privilege which is not afforded to most. 

Privilege and climate change are deeply interwoven and intersect in a number of ways. Firstly, any worthwhile conversation about the climate crisis must realise that not everyone is affected in the same way. While Leo dreams of milder winters, many in the global south are already learning to cope with the damaging effects of climate change. In Leo’s familial home of India more people than ever are dying due to extreme heat waves; in Bangladesh, towns  are being displaced due to sea level rise; that sea level rise is destroying fertile farmland and ruining livelihoods in Vietnam; while communities in sub-Saharan Africa suffer crop failure due to increasingly irregular weather patterns. The common theme here is that the countries which are already suffering are those with some of the lowest per-capita emissions in the world. This disparity became abundantly clear at the Pacific Islands Forum in August of this year where a group of low-lying nations, including the Marshall Islands and Tuvalu, asked Australia to stop burning coal because the country was directly contributing to sea level rise and land loss in the region. Australia arrogantly declined. Just three years previous, Kiribati was forced to purchase land in Fiji for the eventuality that the nation would be submersed in the coming years. The combined carbon footprint of these island nations does not even compare to the average Australian city, and yet they are losing their homes because of the greed of those in the developed world. 

This raises the second major intersection of climate change and privilege: not everyone contributes the same amount. One observation many people will point to is that greenhouse gas emissions are rising because Earth’s human population continues to grow far beyond a point it has ever reached in history. While there is a very real conversation to be had about curbing human population growth, the causes of climate change go far beyond just numbers. Many of the countries with the fastest-growing populations (e.g. India, Nigeria, Bangladesh) also have some of the lowest per-capita emissions in the world. This is because many of the activities which have driven climate change have, until now, been restricted to more privileged people in the developed world: air travel, car ownership, meat-intense diets, fast fashion and many other facets of consumerism which have yet to reach less developed nations. These are luxuries which most people in Ireland take for granted. If you’ve ever been on an airplane (even once), you’re among the privileged 18% of the world’s population; and I’d wager most people reading this have taken more than one flight in their lives.

If we are to reverse climate change, we first need to fully understand the dynamics that drive it, i.e. capitalism and its malicious offspring colonialism. The inequality that exists between those who are causing climate change and those who are suffering from it is the biggest challenge facing humanity presently. We are living in a globalised world and until now we have been a net beneficiary of a system which has left many other nations to fend for themselves against the consequences of our greed. It is time we held ourselves and other developed nations accountable for the negligent, reckless and sometimes heartless actions of the few. We are far beyond the point when a world leader can turn a blind eye to the devastating effects of the climate crisis. True leadership would recognise our privilege and use it to help those who have suffered under the same system which has benefitted us. But maybe that’s expecting too much of the Taoiseach.

 

Photo by Gareth Chaney/Collins on Irish Times

 

Browse more stories below or sign up to our newsletter to receive our top news straight to your inbox!

The European Investment Bank’s decision to divest from fossil fuels

The European Investment Bank (EIB) recently announced that it would be phasing out investment in fossil fuel companies by 2021. The EIB is the biggest public lender globally and the move was celebrated by those within the banking industry and the environmental movement. It sends a clear message that markets are moving away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energies.

What is Ecofeminism?

Ecofeminism is a movement that unites two issues close to our hearts at STAND: women’s rights and the environment. It is perhaps one of the most useful ways we can look at a wide range of social issues we face today. However, the term may be unfamiliar to many.

‘We are the voice, we are the youth and we are the power’: Dublin students unleash rallying cry against the Government’s climate change inaction

The climate strike in Dublin marks the fourth global student strike, and yet the Irish Government has made little progress to show for it.

Climate Case Ireland launch an Appeal

Friday 22nd November marks the day that Climate Case Ireland lodged an appeal for the dismissal of their High Court case from January 2019. The coalition of members of Friends of the Irish Environment Ireland stated that an application has been made to both the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. The group must lie in wait to hear whether the Supreme Court will permit the hearing of their case at this time.

Single-Use Plastics levies: The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly

Last week the Minister for the Environment announced that the Irish Government would be introducing a number of levies aimed at reducing single-use plastics. Two of the most notable levies being a ‘latte levy’ on disposable cups and a plastic bag levy increase. This is good news – so why has there been a murmur of controversy around this announcement?

Climate change: when will we acknowledge our privilege?

The truth about the climate crisis rarely reaches outside a certain cohort of people and often you have to seek this truth for yourself.