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Thousands of people took to the streets of Ireland on Sunday to call for a global deal on climate to be agreed at the UN Climate Summit in Paris.
Approximately 4,500 people marched through the streets of Dublin, while 1,000 turned out in Cork. Hundreds more attended rallies in Galway and Belfast on the eve of the summit beginning in Paris.
The marchers came from a wide range of organisations and backgrounds, including environmentalists, overseas development agencies, faith groups, cycling groups and trade unions, as well as many people unalligned with any group but simply wanting to voice their concern about the danger posed by climate change to people around the world.
People march through Dublin to call for a global agreement on climate to be reached at the UN Climate Summit.
The events were organised by the Stop Climate Chaos network, which includes organisations such as Trócaire, Friends of the Earth and the People’s Climate.
The marches were the largest climate demonstrations seen in Ireland, showing the growing concern felt by Irish people about the impact of environmental degradation on people’s lives. Similar marches were held in over 150 cities around the world.
Trócaire campaigner Amy Colgan addresses the crowd in Dublin.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny is due to address the opening stages of the summit today. Trócaire has called on the Taoiseach to show leadership by signalling Ireland’s intention to sign-up to an ambitious and legally-binding deal that would phase-out fossil fuels by mid-century.
“The fact that these talks are being held at a time when millions of people all along the eastern seaboard of Africa are experiencing chronic food shortages due to drought highlights exactly what is at stake,” said Trócaire Executive Director Éamonn Meehan. “If millions of people experiencing hunger due to drought can’t motivate political leaders to take action, one wonders what can.”
Young people taking part in Sunday’s huge climate march in Dublin, which saw approximately 4,500 people take to the streets.
Trócaire campaigns on climate change due to the impacts being felt in the developing world. Climate change is one of the biggest drivers of poverty and hunger in the world, and that will only intensify as long as political leaders fail to take action to reduce its impacts.
“Climate change is not just an environmental issue, it is an issue of justice and equality,” said Éamonn Meehan. “Fundamentally, it is eroding people’s human rights, including the right to food. It is estimated that 2.5 billion smallholder farmers provide 80 per cent of the food consumed in southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. The vast majority of them are dependent on rain to grow their crops but climate change is altering rain patterns and extending droughts.”
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