Former President Mary Robinson was in Ethiopia this week to bring urgent attention to the food crisis affecting millions of people in East and Southern Africa.
She visited projects funded by Trócaire to bring emergency food, seeds, water and sanitation to people suffering hunger due to drought, which has been fuelled by climate change and El Niño.Mary Robinson at a Trócaire project in Adigrat, northern Ethiopia, which is delivering emergency aid to 30,000 people and irrigation systems to protect against future drought. (Photo: Eoghan Rice / Trócaire)
The current U.N Special Envoy for El Niño and Climate has made strong statements to bring focus to this serious humanitarian emergency.
As a passionate campaigner for climate justice, she has spoken out on behalf of those whose voices are not being heard.
Five powerful climate change statements from Mary Robinson – an inspiring humanitarian leader
1. “Now, because of climate change, it has become so bad. And it really is bad…it is bad here in Ethiopia, where they do good climate work, where they cope well with climate and they’re used to it.
“Yet they now have 10.3 million additional people who are malnourished and could suffer very badly before the end of this year…
“It brings home to us that we must cut emissions very fast. Ireland must become more of a leader in understanding the importance of renewable energy.” Newstalk, Pat Kenny Show, July 2016 from Ethiopia.
2. “I don’t think the impact of El Niño, aggravated by climate change, has received the attention that it should have from the international community.” July 2016 from Ethiopia
3. “We shouldn’t underestimate the scale and the transformative nature of the change, which will be needed. We have to go to zero carbon emissions by about 2050 if we are going to stay below 2C of warming and that means that we have to leave about 2/3 of the known resources of fossil fuels in the ground.” Ted Talk, May 2015
4. “We have a responsibility to move in the direction that Paris has given us – well below 2C as far as possible to 1.5C – a world that leaves no one behind. A world that is fair and inclusive … We can do it. And we will have a much better and more equal world if we do.” The Guardian, 16 March 2016
5. “Climate change is a fundamental problem that we must solve and not merely pass on to the generations to come…We can’t let our children and grandchildren look back on this critical period in time and say that we failed them.” Trócaire conference: Meeting the challenges of climate change – from evidence to action, Maynooth University, St Patricks College, Maynooth, June 2015