Trócaire Blog

 

April 18, 2017

Searching for a safe haven in Honduras

The homes of the coastal community of Cuyamel in north west Honduras may be washed away before 2017 is over.

The century-old community of 84 families, 522 people, must find a new home because the river and the ocean are swamping the land they live on.

Sea level rise, floods and storms caused by climate change are forcing them to search for a safe haven.

But where will their new home be?

The community has found a piece of land and its owner is keen to sell. They are lobbying their government to buy the land for them. 

They want to be safe and they want to stay together. But they are competing to buy the land with a wealthy company which has earmarked the land for palm oil production.

Miriam who featured on this year’s Trócaire box with her daughter Maria (6) says: ‘Politicians have known for several years about the danger, but have done nothing about the problem and now the situation is really bad. One of the reasons we want to buy the plot of land not so far away is so the community will live together. I don't know what will happen but I hope we stay together."

Miriam and Maria, Cuyamel, Honduras

Miriam Marivel Campos Perez (30) and her daughter Maria José Gonzáles Campo (6) outside the local school in the coastal community of Cuyamel, Omoa, Honduras. Photo: Clare McEvoy/Trócaire

Trócaire, with support from the local government and our partner CASM, has funded the dredging of a canal which allows families to be evacuated to a safe point when the floods come. 

Trócaire is also supporting the community's efforts to secure a new home, and is working with the Honduran Climate Change Alliance to raise awareness of the problems.

If you would like to lend your voice to the communities call for a new home you can send an email to any or all of the following contacts in Honduras:

Wiladina Chang, Governor of the Cortes Province 
email: [email protected]

Profe. Ricárdo Alvarado, Mayor of Omoa
email: [email protected]

Clarisa Morales, Home Office Vice Minister 
email: [email protected]

José Galdamez, Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment
email: [email protected]

Sergio Palacios, Director of the National Directorate on Climate Change
email: [email protected]

Please copy Trócaire’s Country Director on your email [email protected]

Suggested message

You can send your own message or cut and paste the text below in both English & Spanish:

Dear Madam/Sir,

I am writing to you to ask you to use your influence to assist the 84 families that live on the Cuyamel and Motagua sandbars in the Municipality of Omoa.   Due to its geographical position these are some of the most vulnerable communities in the country. In the last few years the encroachment of the sea on the land has accelerated, which has had serious consequences for the 84 families that still live there.

These communities were founded in 1900 and since 2000 they have been displaced because of rising sea levels. Today, they find their lives and livelihoods are at risk of being lost at any moment. This population lives in very precarious socio-economic conditions, dedicating themselves to fishing and rice cultivation which is no longer possible in the area due to the seriousness of the situation.

The area was declared a high risk and inhospitable area in 2014 and the families live in a permanent state of alert.

I am appealing to you in your position of responsibility to urgently attend the need for a permanent relocation of the families that are facing the constant threat of the flooding of their land by the sea.

Yours sincerely


Señora/Señor,

Por medio de la presente me dirijo a usted y a la institución que dirige con el propósito de invitarle a tomar acción sobre la dramática situación que viven 84 familias en Las Barras de Cuyamel y Motagua en el municipio de Omoa. Por su posición geográfica es uno de los municipios más vulnerables del país. 

Las Barras de Motagua y Cuyamel son las comunidades más expuestas a riesgo donde en los últimos años la intrusión del mar a tierra continental ha sido acelerada y con consecuencias graves para 84 familias que aún viven en el sitio. 

Estas comunidades se fundaron a principios del siglo XX y es a partir del 2000 que comienzan a ser desplazados por el mar y se encuentran hoy día en una trampa mortal que en cualquier momento cobrará vidas humanas. Son personas en condición socio-económica muy precaria que se dedican a la pesca y cultivo de arroz. Estas actividades están prácticamente interrumpidas por la gravedad de la situación.

Desde el 2014 fue declarada como zona de alto riesgo e inhabitable y la condición de las familias es de estado de calamidad pública.

Apelo a su conciencia y sentido de máxima responsabilidad por el cargo y función que desempeña para atender de manera urgente la necesidad de reubicar a las familias de manera definitiva por la amenaza permanente que representa la invasión del mar a tierra continental.

Me despido de ustedes de la manera más atenta.

April 13, 2017

Listening to the rain in Honduras: Amauro's story

Amauro Flores Archila looks tired. He didn’t sleep the previous night. Instead he stayed up listening to the rain and worrying that another flood would drown his children.

“Yesterday it started raining again and the water rose,” he says. “I was up all night. I couldn’t sleep because I was watching to check that the water wasn’t coming inside. I have three young children, so I needed to be on alert all night.”

Two days earlier, Amauro a single father, came home from work to find his house flooded to chest level. Heavy rains flooded his neighbourhood, Colonia Victoria. The slum on the outskirts of San Pedro Sula sits on a flood plain.

Luckily Amauro’s children were with him at the mechanics where he works. “The children were scared when they saw the state of the house. The door was falling off, so I brought them to a neighbor,” he says. The youngest still remembers being in her mother’s arms during a previous flood, when they had a bad fall on the slippery floor and hurt themselves. 

Just 45 minutes of rain destroyed everything Amauro and his family owns - their furniture, TV, shoes, clothes, food, the electric cooker, the kids toys, even the old Christmas tree sits decayed in a corner. Thankfully the break switch had activated, so at least the risk of electric shock was gone. 

“Everything was damaged by the water. You can see where the water came half way up the wall,” he says. “The house was full of garbage from the water. It was full of sewage water. All the water coming from the toilets was flowing into the house.”

Interior of the house two days after the flood


Caption: Only two days after the most recent flood, dirty water marks are clearly visible on the walls.

Amauro doesn’t know how they will afford to buy these items again. There’s no such thing as insurance in the slums.

“I was shoveling the water out of the house all night. I used a shovel and tried to push it into the sewage system. It was really tiring. The mattress was wet, so I slept on a bench.”
Amauro’s house sits at the end of the road in a dip, so it is particularly at risk of flooding. If he could afford it he would build a higher wall around the garden to stop the floods coming in. It’s a problem that is only getting worse. 

“I’ve been in the house for six years and 35 years in this neighbourhood,” he says. “I think the problem always existed but it seems to be worse. Small rains are causing lots of damage. 

“Since they allowed construction of more houses, the water runs faster down the hill and the problem is much worse. And there are also more people in the area and lots of people throw the garbage in the sewage system, so the drains are overrun. 

“I am afraid that there will be many more rains that are forecasted and I’m afraid the problem will get worse.” 

The local disaster committee, supported by Trócaire, has been lobbying the council for years to build better drainage in the slum to allow rain water to drain away from the houses.

Everyday, thanks to your support, we are helping families like Amauro's prepare for disasters, plan how to evacuate during hurricanes and floods, and learn how to conduct emergency search and rescue to save lives when extreme weather inevitably strike again.

Your Lent donations are supporting parents like Amauro to protect their children when disaster strikes: Please donate what you can today

March 16, 2017

Climate Plan ignores plight of poorest and most vulnerable

As drought pushes millions of people to the brink of famine in East Africa, Ireland yesterday published its Draft National Mitigation Plan on Climate Change. 

The plan is Ireland’s first in ten years on how it intends to reduce the harmful emissions that contribute to climate change.

Unfortunately, Trócaire is disappointed by the lack of new ambition in the plan. 

This is the first climate plan following the adoption of the Paris Climate Agreement, which stated very clearly the need for a significant increase in action and ambition on climate change in all countries – we don’t see that increase in ambition in this Plan.  

The draft Plan gives no acknowledgement, reflection or engagement with the level of ambition that Ireland committed to when it ratified the Paris Agreement in late 2016.

Current levels of climate change are already having devastating impacts on the communities that Trócaire works with.  From storms and flooding in Central America to drought and hunger in Sub-Saharan Africa, climate change is destroying lives and livelihoods of the most vulnerable people who have done least to cause the problem.

Kitui, Kenya, 2010

The reality of climate change: This photograph was taken in 2010 in Kitui, Kenya. It shows people who have walked for miles to the dried up river Enziu, where they must dig for water. This desperate situation is now the norm across areas of Kenya, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia and other East African countries where climate change had a profound impact on rainfall patterns, leading to protracted, life-threatening periods of drought. Up to 70 million people in the region are facing extreme food insecurity.

The Plan fails drastically in acknowledging the economic, human and environmental costs of failing to take action. This is despite the fact that Ireland has the 8th highest emissions per person among OECD countries, with emissions increasing by 3.7% in 2015.  

Ireland is only one of two countries in the European Union which will miss its 2020 emission reduction targets. Absence of a concrete plan now will only further the challenge of complying with Ireland’s 2030 targets and long-term 2050 national objective of reducing CO2 emissions by 80%.

That there will be a public consultation on the plan is to be welcomed, and it is also positive to see that climate change will feature in the Citizens’ Assembly later this year. 

We need a real and honest conversation about the urgency of the climate crisis and how we respond as a country.  We are already seeing gains in poverty reduction being significantly eroded by climate change. If we fail to act adequately over the next five years, it may be impossible to deliver on the commitments in the Paris Climate Agreement. The implications for all countries would be devastating, but the poorest and most vulnerable will pay the highest price. 

What's next?

A public consultation on the draft plan is now ongoing until 26th April, after which the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment will prepare a final draft to be submitted to the Cabinet in the first week of June.  

Trócaire and our allies in the Stop Climate Chaos coalition will be making a submission to the consultation, and will be contacting supporters to invite them to support our submission and recommendations. 

March 01, 2017

Trócaire launches 44th annual Lent fundraising campaign

Scale of humanitarian need ‘unprecedented’  as Trócaire launches Ireland’s largest annual fundraising campaign

Ireland’s largest annual fundraising campaign kicks-off today, with Trócaire targeting humanitarian relief for up to one million people with the help of its Lenten campaign.

Schools, communities and parishes will come together over the next six weeks to pledge their support for the poorest people in the world. The Lenten campaign, which is in its 44th year, has transformed the lives of millions of people around the world.

44th Lent campaign launch

Caption: Brothers Ross (7) & James Malone (2) from Prosperous, Co Kildare helping us launch our 44th Lent campaign at Maynooth college. Photo by Mark Steadman.

This year’s campaign highlights the scale of humanitarian need across the world. The family pictured on this year’s Trócaire box is from a village in Honduras that faces regular flooding from storms and rising sea levels. Trócaire’s project in the villages keep people safe by providing for safe evacuation while supporting their campaign for access to safer homes.

The organisation is responding to humanitarian crises around the world, including in South Sudan where the UN last week declared a famine. Trócaire is providing emergency food and water to people in South Sudan and donations to this year’s Lenten campaign will help the organisation expand its projects aimed at tackling hunger across the region.

Lent community in Honduras

Caption: Miriam Maribel Campos Pérez and her daughter Maria, from a coastal village that faces regular flooding in Honduras, feature on the 2017 Trócaire box. Photo: Frank McGrath/Irish Independent.

Trócaire Executive Director Éamonn Meehan said:

“The scale of humanitarian need in the world is unprecedented. Over 70 million people will require emergency food aid this year, while the number of people displaced from their homes is at its highest level since World War II. With the support of people in Ireland, Trócaire will deliver humanitarian aid to up to one million people in crisis this year.

“The situation in South Sudan is a catastrophe and set to worsen significantly over the coming months. Over 4.5 million people do not have enough food to eat and there is no prospect of that improving until August at the earliest. Over one million children are at risk of death unless they receive urgent food aid.

“Unfortunately, the international response to the crisis has been very slow. Appeals are under-funded and unless funding is made available people will die. Donald Trump’s proposal to dramatically increase military spending will very likely be at the expense of funding humanitarian programmes. More money for guns, tanks and bombs in a world already full of military hardware and less money for the poor and vulnerable.”

The crisis in South Sudan has been caused by a combination of conflict and drought. Trócaire’s Lenten campaign highlights how the rise of these two issues is threatening to undo much of the progress made to lift people out of extreme poverty over recent decades.

“Millions of people around the world have been lifted out of poverty by Irish people’s generosity over the last 44 years,” said Éamonn Meehan. “Aid has delivered so many success stories. Unfortunately, the spread of conflicts and the worsening impacts of climate change are increasingly out-pacing those efforts.

“The percentage of the world’s population living in extreme poverty has fallen, but for the poorest of the poor life has never been so challenging. Worsening droughts are making it impossible to grow food, while prolonged conflicts have left generations growing up in camps with little prospect of returning home.

“Much of our work is focused on delivering aid and support to people trapped in conflict or left hungry by drought. These are two major global challenges of our time.”

For more information about our Lent campaign, please visit trocaire.org/lent

February 16, 2017

70 million hit by extreme food shortages

Extreme food shortages are occurring across a number of African countries, with large areas of East Africa worst affected.

Tabu Ruth at Bidi Bidi refugee camp

 
South Sudanese refugee Tabu Ruth brings water to her father outside the family’s new home in Bidi Bidi camp in Uganda. Photo by Tommy Trenchard for Caritas.

The severity and scale of the crisis is unprecedented in recent decades. 

Conflict and drought have combined to leave 17 million people in East Africa alone requiring immediate emergency food aid.

The two worst affected countries in the region are Somalia and South Sudan, but parts of Ethiopia and Kenya are also badly hit.

How bad the situation gets will largely depend on whether the rains come over the next few weeks. However, even if they do come, there will still be a five month gap when people have little or nothing to eat before the next harvest.

How did it get this bad?

Ongoing conflict in South Sudan and Somalia has displaced millions of people and severely disrupted the food system.

Climate change is also a huge factor. The region is experiencing a prolonged drought due to the failure of rainy seasons. Without the rain, crops have not grown.

South Sudan – one in three people left hungry

Over 4.5 million people in South Sudan will require emergency food aid over the coming months. As it stands, one in every three people in the country does not have enough food.

An estimated 675,000 people are currently classified as being in emergency.

Somalia – a repeat of 2011?

Over 5 million people in Somalia are in need of emergency aid. The situation threatens a repeat of 2011, when a famine in the country cost the lives of 250,000 people.

At the moment, 320,000 children under age five are acutely malnourished, of which 50,000 are severely malnourished.

What is Trócaire doing?

Trócaire has teams working in all four affected countries – South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia. We are bringing emergency food aid into the worst-hit communities and helping people to survive the current crisis.

As needs grow, we want to expand our emergency aid projects.

You can help us donating today

January 26, 2017

Dáil signals first of its kind fossil fuel divestment legislation

Trócaire welcomes ground breaking environmental Bill that will benefit the poorest communities in the world.

Yes to divest

This afternoon a majority vote was passed in the Dáil to progress the Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill to Committee stage.

The Bill calls for the withdrawal of investments of the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) from fossil fuel companies and ban future investments in the industry by the Fund.

Executive Director of Trócaire, Éamonn Meehan said: “Major cities from Copenhagen to Berlin to Sydney have already committed to divest from the fossil fuel industry. 

“However, if the Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill is passed, Ireland would be the first country to ban investment of public money into the fossil fuel industry.

“With a climate-sceptic recently inaugurated into the White House, this move by elected representatives in Ireland will send out a powerful message.

“The Irish political system is now finally acknowledging what the overwhelming majority of people already know:  That to have a fighting chance to combat catastrophic climate change we must phase out fossil fuels and stop the growth of the industry that is driving this crisis."

hwami family zimbabwe

The Hwami family in Zimbabwe are amongst the millions of people currently experiencing devastating drought due to climate change. Photo: Caritas, 2016

“I have seen it on the ground, from Malawi to Honduras, climate change is decimating the world’s poorest communities.

“The support of a majority in the Dáil for this Bill is an incredibly important moment for the climate justice movement in Ireland and will inspire other countries to follow our lead.”

Trócaire has been campaigning for the Bill since early 2016.

January 11, 2017

How €31 can change a life in Malawi

By Emmet Bergin, Acting Country Director, Trócaire Malawi

Irrigated corn field in Malawi

A field of corn isn’t that exciting. Even to Irish eyes unused to the tall, long stalks and yellow cobs it really doesn’t get the heart pumping. 

In Malawi, however, where 6.4 million people are experiencing food shortages due to a prolonged dry season, a thriving field of maize is about as exciting as it gets. 

Malawi has sun - plenty of it, and as the Cornflakes ads attest, that’s vital to grow corn. But what Malawi doesn’t have is the other basic component: water. 

Most land is rain-fed, with rains falling within the months of December to February. The rest of the year is completely dry.

When the rains are “bad”, with lower expected rainfall, as has occurred across Eastern and Southern Africa this year, then much of Malawi’s 18 million population, 85% of whom are self-sufficient farmers, are in serious trouble. 

Because of climate change, these rainfall shortages are now becoming the norm.

If Malawi is not to face year after year of famine, the missing ingredient of water must be found. 

These fields of corn in Mganja, Lower Dedza, testify to what is possible once the right mix of specialist water engineering support, agriculture training and community commitment is available. Cost effective and simple to maintain, the water for these fields comes from the diversion of a nearby river. Without it these fields, like neighbouring communities, would be dead soils.

It felt as if the whole village community of Mganja had come to greet us. They wanted to express thanks, through us, to those who supported this irrigation project, in this case the Irish people and the UK Government, through funding from Department for International Development to Trócaire. 

Mganja Community welcome

Welcome from women of the Mganja community. December 2016

Francisco, the village committee chairperson, insisted we walk to the middle of the fields, away from the irrigation channels, to show us how all parts of the fields had become productive.

Francisco spoke eloquently of the challenges of climate change, the previous reliance of the community on maize handouts during the months before the harvest and now how the community are moving towards complete self-sufficiency and the production of surpluses. He, on behalf of the community, asked for continued support from Trócaire. 

Trócaire will continue to support the farmers in this village with agricultural training for another 12 months.

However, the scale of need in Malawi means that we must move on to support communities in the neighbouring area.

The cost of the intervention for the 150 households in Mganja is modest. Benefitting a total of 800 men, women and children the total irrigation and training package cost €25,000, or €31 per person. This investment will set everyone on track for self-sufficiency into the future.

The cost of not making this intervention is stark.

The World Food Programme states that millions of Malawians will go hungry and thousands of Malawians are at risk of starvation if a shortfall of $230 million is not found to purchase sufficient maize meal for this year.

The cost of this emergency intervention to help Malawi’s poor get through these months of hunger is €45 per person for this year. 

Despite the overwhelming needs in Malawi and the hunger that prevails, the example of Mganja left me with hope of one affordable, efficient and concrete example of that often misused concept “climate change adaptation”. 

Mganja shows how in the midst of a crisis, human ingenuity, hard work and some outside investment can materially improve the life circumstances of the people affected, well beyond their previous level of existence and in a manner that can - and must - be replicated across the country.

December 13, 2016

Ceann Comhairle launches the ‘Project for Africa’ with Trócaire

Ceann Comrailhe, Ethiopian Ambassador, Mary KennedyCeann Comhairle, Seán Ó Fearghaíl TD, Lela-alem Gebreyohannes, Ethiopian Ambassador to Ireland, and RTÉ broadcaster Mary Kennedy at launch of  ‘Ceann Comhairle Project for Africa’ at Newbridge Silverware Visitor Centre on 12 December.

The Ceann Comhairle, Seán Ó Fearghaíl TD, last night launched the ‘Ceann Comhairle Project for Africa’, a special fund which aims to raise an initial €50,000 for Trócaire to tackle drought and urgent need in northern Ethiopia.
 
RTÉ broadcaster Mary Kennedy officially launched the Project at Newbridge Silverware Visitor Centre in Newbridge, Co. Kildare and urged local businesses to support the fund.

The Ceann Comhairle, Sean Ó Fearghaíl TD, said that he hoped the fund would allow Trócaire to bring support to 7,000 people in drought-affected areas of Ethiopia.
 
“I have seen for myself the devastating effects on millions of people facing extreme food shortages in communities vulnerable to drought and so, as sponsor of this project, I am pleased to launch this new and innovative ‘Ceann Comhairle Project for Africa’,” he said.

“Through charitable donations, this project aims to put in place a long term response to the impact of climate change on vulnerable communities in the Enderta District in Tigray northern Ethiopia. People there simply do not have enough food to live and it is hoped that this project will directly benefit 1200 families, or 7000 individuals. It is about introducing sustainability for the most vulnerable communities in Ethiopia through building irrigation systems that will ensure that farmers have at least the minimum amount of water to grow and harvest crops.”

Sean Farrell of Trócaire thanked the Ceann Comhairle for his determination to support the organisation’s work in Ethiopia:
 
“There are currently over nine million people in Ethiopia facing food shortages due to drought. The Ceann Comhairle Project for Africa fund will greatly help us to build irrigation and supports that can ensure that people do not face this situation again. We are delighted that the Ceann Comhairle has chosen to work with Trócaire on this very special project and would like to thank everybody who has expressed an interest in supporting this initiative.”
 
To support the Ceann Comhairle Project for Africa fund please email [email protected]

November 22, 2016

Trócaire and NGO partners organise north and south climate action lobby events

Lobby events held in Dublin and Belfast to coincide with the COP22 climate talks in Marrakesh, where diplomats gather to discuss the implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate action. 

Stormont Climate Lobby Event November 2016

Activists gather outside Stormont Castle before lobby event. Photo: Justin Kernoghan

At a joint event at Stormont on Monday 14 November organised by Trócaire, Christian Aid and Friends of the Earth, members of the public met their MLAs and local representatives to urge them to support a Stormont Climate Change Bill. 

Northern Ireland is the poorest performing region of the UK when it comes to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, and is being left behind by other parts of these islands such as Scotland & the Republic of Ireland who have Climate Acts. Climate action is long overdue and urgently needed.

The Stormont lobby took place at a critical time as the Northern Ireland Programme for Government is still being discussed and decided upon. The Programme sets out the region's priorities and direction for the next five years, so it's vital that there are strong climate targets in the Programme for Government. 

Chris Lyttle MLA with East Belfast constituents

Chris Lyttle MLA with East Belfast constituents. Photo: Justin Kernoghan

Every constituency in Northern Ireland was represented at the event, and activist groups including the Clogher Peace and Justice Group, the Armagh Trócaire Ambassadors, and the newly founded Queen’s University Belfast Trócaire society attended, alongside volunteers and supporters from Trócaire, Christian Aid and Friends of the Earth. 

The event was the largest ever climate lobby in Northern Ireland with approximately 100 people in attendance who met with representatives from all the main political parties, with the exception of the Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV).

The next day in Dublin (Tuesday 15 November), 150 constituents met with TDs and Senators from across the party and independent spectrum to push for stronger action on climate change from the Irish Government.

Declan Breathnach, FF TD, Louth, Kate Ruddock, Friends of the Earth, Selina Donnelly, Trócaire at Stop Climate Chaos lobbying event, Buswells, Dublin, Nov 15, 2016.

Declan Breathnach, Fianna Fail TD for Louth; Kate Ruddock, Friends of the Earth; and Selina Donnelly, Trócaire at Stop Climate Chaos lobbying event, Buswells Hotel, Dublin, 15 November. Photo: Alan Whelan

The Government is soon set to publish a draft National Mitigation Plan, the first of its kind under the new Climate Act. This critical document will determine the level of ambition for meeting Ireland’s obligations under the Paris Agreement.  

Nearly 100 politicians attended the Dublin event organised by Stop Climate Chaos, including Government Chief Whip, Regina Doherty, Micheál Martin, Hildegarde Naughton (Chair of the Oireachtas Committee), and Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten's, special adviser. 

Seán Sherlock (Labour) speaks to constituents at lobby event in Buswell's hotel, Dublin

Labour TD Seán Sherlock speaks to constituents. Photo: Alan Whelan

They were asked to support the following:

1. Enabling community ownership of renewable energy;
2. Divesting taxpayers’ money from fossil fuels;
3. Achieving the goals of the Smarter Travel Policy.

And nearly half the politicians who attended signed letters to Ministers Naughten, Michael Noonan (Finance) and Shane Ross (Transport) calling on them to deliver on these demands. 

Take action

Use our online lobby tools to call on your MLA or TD to take action on climate change.

November 08, 2016

Dear Stormont: we need to talk about climate change

By Mary Friel, Campaigns Officer, Trócaire Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland lags behind other regions in reducing carbon emissions, and has yet to pass a local Climate Law. As world leaders gather in Marrakech to progress the commitments of last year’s historic Paris Climate Agreement, Trócaire, Christian Aid and Friends of the Earth are holding a lobby event at Stormont to call on all MLAs to take urgent action on climate change.

mla heads in sand

At the lobby event at the Northern Ireland Assembly on Monday 14 November we will push MLAs for much-needed action on three areas:

1. Set strong climate targets in the Programme for Government
2. Develop a local Climate Change Act
3. 100% clean energy within a generation

The Paris Agreement commits to: “holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels”. 

The Paris Agreement text emphasises the “emissions gap” between the temperature goal and the pledges that countries have made so far. Independent analysis by Climate Action Tracker concludes that current policies put us on track for global warming of 3.6°C while current pledges, if they were all delivered on time, would only limit warming to 2.7°C.

All existing targets and timelines for emission reductions therefore need to be re-evaluated.

When it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Northern Ireland is the lowest performing region in the UK. 

In total, the UK has reduced emissions by 36% (between the base year 1990 and 2014).

England and Scotland are the highest performing regions with reduced emissions by 38% and 41%. But Wales and Northern Ireland reduced emissions by only 18% and 17% respectively. 

While this year in Northern Ireland we did see a decrease in carbon emissions by 3% on the year prior, the long-term emission reductions trend reveals how much more work we need to do to get serious about climate action to align with the ambition in the Paris Agreement.

We need climate action now to do our fair share to protect the livelihoods of the poorest and most vulnerable people and communities in the world, many of whom are already feeling the devastating impacts of climate change, through increased droughts and floods which is driving hunger and poverty.

Join us for the big climate change lobby at Stormont 

To join us, all you have to do is register to attend the event and send an email asking your MLAs to meet you there.

When: Monday 14th November 2016, 4pm – 7pm 
Where: Long Gallery, Parliament Buildings, Stormont, Belfast  

Register to attend event on Eventbrite 

For more information on the key asks, you can read our short two-page briefing paper

If you have any questions about the lobby please contact Mary Friel: [email protected].

Supporters in the Republic of Ireland can join the Stop Climate Chaos lobby event taking place in Dublin on Tuesday, 15 November. 

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