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Christian Aid criticises weak EC emissions target and calls on Ireland to play its part

22 January 2014 - Christian Aid today urged the Irish government not to neglect the victims of climate change in the Philippines and elsewhere after the European Commission announced weak emissions targets for 2030.

Today’s EC White Paper fails to push European countries far enough in tackling emissions which cause climate change, endangering the commitment to keep global temperature rise under two degrees.

Christian Aid’s Head of Advocacy and Policy, Sorley McCaughey said: ‘We are already starting to see the significant impacts of climate change in Ireland and around the world. Irish climate scientists have pointed to the recent storms as being a taste of what we can expect as a result of a warming globe.

‘With communities in the Philippines still reeling from the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan and parts of Africa still suffering from drought, the need for political leaders in Ireland and across Europe to show far greater leadership and take the kind of action that reflects the seriousness of the situation is urgent.

‘There was an opportunity for Ireland to demonstrate leadership on this issue by enshrining ambitious targets of our own into our own climate law, but instead the decision was made to simply transpose EU targets into domestic legislation. Based on the Commission’s recommendation today this looks like being a woefully inadequate response.’

Denise Fontanilla, advocacy officer of Christian Aid partner organisation Aksyon Klima, a Philippine-based climate advocacy group, said the target was a slap in the face to Filipinos still recovering from Typhoon Haiyan:

‘This low target insults not only Haiyan survivors but everyone dealing with extreme weather events made even worse by climate change. The EU must make drastic emissions cuts in the face of the new normal.’


For further information please contact:

  • Sorley McCaughey, Head of Advocacy, Christian Aid Ireland. Tel: (353) 087 062 0062 or email smccaughey@christian-aid.org
  • Florence Mutesasira, Communications & Media Officer. Tel: (353) 086 160 9405 or email fmutesasira@christian-aid.org



Notes to editors:

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 50 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects. For more information about the work of Christian Aid, visit www.christianaid.ie.. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/christianaidirl.