Friday, February 07, 2020

CLIMATE activists carried out a symbolic protest on the Bog of Allen at Lullymore last Sunday 2 February to mark World Wetlands Day.

A goup of 15 activists scaled a turf pyramid “to highlight the climate and biodiversity emergency ahead of next week’s general election”, according to Extinction Rebellion spokesperson Lughaidh Ó Broin.

“The recent catastrophic bush fires in Australia have highlighted the ever-growing need for politicians and society to focus on the climate and biodiversity emergency, yet these issues have received very little attention during the current general election campaign,” he pointed out.

“While we recognise that issues such as housing and health are also of major concern, the most pressing issue of all, the climate emergency, is being virtually ignored. In a ground-breaking 2018 report, the UN sanctioned Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that we must reduce global carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 or face catastrophic and irreversible damage to the systems which support life on this planet,” he said.

Climate activitists taking part in the Extinction Rebellion protest on the Bog of Allen at Lullymore on Sunday to mark World Wetlands Day

“Already one million species – a quarter of all are in danger of extinction because of human influence,” said Mr Ó Broin.

“This action was held on World Wetlands Day, which is held annually to bring attention to the importance of bogs and wetlands – our very unique biosphere,” said Lughaidh.

“We are highlighting the need to stop harvesting peat and re-wet our bogs. Peat is one of the worst fuels in terms of carbon and particulate emissions and must be phased out with immediate effect.

“In addition, when allowed to return to their natural state, bogs and wetlands are highly efficient at extracting and storing carbon from the atmosphere, even more so than trees, whereas in contrast, drained bogs become a carbon source, releasing vast amounts of carbon into the atmosphere.

“Natural, wild bogs are also home to multitudes of species and the re-wilding of our bogs would be a significant help in the fighting biodiversity collapse,” he said.

Mr O’Broin wanted to stress the apolitical nature of the protest, but would like the Irish voter to keep climate emergency to the fore this week.

“While not endorsing any particular party, Extinction Rebellion are calling on the public to vote for candidates who have made clear commitments on the climate emergency on 8 February.

“The next government must be dedicated to drastic reductions in carbon emissions. Extinction Rebellion are calling on voters to use their power to ensure that this is the case.

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By finian coughlan
Contact Newsdesk: 045 432147

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