The Climate Action Plan is the first credible strategy for drastically cutting the amount of greenhouse gases we are emitting.
The climate crisis and the biodiversity crisis are intrinsically linked: climate change causes biodiversity loss through droughts, floods, fires, changes in the distribution of species, the spread of pests, diseases and invasives, and ecological disruption in terms of the timing of the growing season, bud burst, fruit ripening, egg laying and hatching, and migration. Biodiversity loss also causes climate change: decades of wetland drainage for peat extraction and inappropriate afforestation have resulted in degraded bogs that actually emit carbon instead of store it. But while the problems are linked, so too are the solutions.
My Department continues to work with its partners across Government, State Agencies, Local Authorities, landowners, farmers, and community groups to protect, enhance and restore habitats across Ireland, including our precious peatlands. This Government is also investing in nature to a level not seen since before the financial crisis, with a 64% increase in funding for the National Parks and Wildlife Service since 2020. Nature is our first and best line of defence against a changing climate and a vital ally in terms of climate mitigation. I look forward to continuing to work with our partners to progress this Government’s unprecedented ambition for nature and the climate.
No one is under the illusion that taking action to effect this necessary change will be easy . . . But the biggest risk we face is from failing to take action. As the UN have warned: we are now at a ‘code red for humanity’.
The science is clear: we must get to ‘net zero’ by the middle of this century. And our Climate Action Plan is the first real effort to get us there.
The time is now! gov.ie - Climate Action Plan 2021 (www.gov.ie)