The agreement reached at government level to finally introduce limits on Ireland’s high level of CO2 pollution is welcome in this respect, but there is no room for complacency or backlash – on the contrary. The targets set are likely to need upward revisions later this decade if the country is to meet its 2030 commitments.
Reland has eight years to achieve the required 51 percent reduction in emissions, but analysis of the deal, received last week, projects a reduction of about 43 percent from 2018 levels. This represents a significant shortcoming, which must be bridged if the country is to make its full contribution to determining the future of humanity in the next millennium.
It didn’t have to be like this. Policy makers in Ireland, Europe and internationally should have acted much sooner. The threat of climate change has been evident for at least 25 years. The magnitude of the task would not be so challenging now if the measures had been implemented before this late hour. So be it. Better late than never.
It is also clear that life as we know it will change radically. Change can inspire fear, but it doesn’t have to be such a daunting prospect. The farming sector here, and farming communities and families in particular, are concerned about what the deal reached last week will mean for their livelihoods and way of life. The concern is understandable.
The dairy industry was encouraged to invest significant resources at a time when awareness of agricultural emissions was already evident. That was a clear failure of politics. The transition will now be more painful for many than it would have been if policymakers had acted sooner. Financial support and grants will be needed – but there are opportunities for farmers and also for the whole country in this business.
There is no choice. Threats to climate and biodiversity will reach – or have reached – a tipping point that must eventually undermine current economic models anyway.
Scientists and environmentalists believe the farming sector got off lightly here in the deal reached last week. Statistical evidence supports this claim. Agriculture is the country’s largest CO2 emitter.
However, industry also plays an important role in the country’s economic and social development. As a result, the industry has always been at the forefront of progress. There is every reason to believe that agriculture will adapt, evolve and continue to thrive in the future as technology advances.
But be clear: technological change and the urgent need to transition to a low-carbon economy will require a new economic model based on innovation, a mobilized workforce with the right skills and a highly productive corporate sector.
Ireland can only do so much. Reaching net-zero by 2050 will not be possible without international cooperation between all – particularly the rich countries, which have benefited over the past 200 years but have been slow and unreliable in reducing emissions.
The pace and scale of the changes now required are unprecedented; However, we can learn from the great spurts of human development in the past, such as B. the new technologies and industries that catalyzed the industrial revolution.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/editorial/life-to-radically-alter-in-climate-crisis-fight-41879481.html Life must change radically in the fight against the climate crisis