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The Climate Change Performance Index 2019, published today, ranks Ireland once again at the bottom of the EU pack when it comes to acting on climate change. The Climate Change Performance Index published by Germanwatch and the NewClimate Institute, together with the Climate Action Network (CAN), is an annual league table of the 56 countries and the EU which together account for about 90% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Jennifer Higgins, Dublin-based Policy and Advocacy Advisor at Christian Aid Ireland, is currently attending the UN Climate Conference in Katowice, Poland:

“This report, and Ireland’s dismal ranking, clearly show that we continue to be bottom of the pack on action to tackle climate change, further reinforcing our status as a laggard rather than a leader in this area. This is not the first time we have been put in this position. How many reports showing our shameful positioning in Europe will it take before the Government starts implementing the real, ambitious and urgent change needed to tackle climate change?” 

“The recent IPCC special report concluded that the world has to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to ensure average global temperatures don’t rise by more than 1.5 degrees, and that we need to do it while it is still feasible. Policy makers in Ireland need to act now and shift from incremental change to transformational change. Only then can we achieve a secure and sustainable future.”

We have consistently heard citizens calling for more ambition, and a willingness to take on the radical changes we need to see domestically to tackle climate change. However, the Government has continued to put forward tired messages to suggest that Ireland should supposedly be an exception to urgent global efforts. It’s time to remove their rose-tinted glasses and pay heed not only to the science and to the criticism we continually face at the bottom of the pack, but also to the people, both at home and in the countries worst affected by climate change.”  

“With Minister Bruton coming to Katowice to the UN climate conference this week, the Government needs to respond immediately to the strong recommendations from the Citizens’ Assembly and lead the way for real ambition in these crucial negotiations.”





Notes to Editors

Jennifer Higgins will be in Katowice throughout the UN Climate Summit and is available for interview. Call 0044 28 90648133 to arrange.