On 22 January 2019, a landmark case -supported by over 6,000 signatures- was taken against the Irish Government due to their inaction on Climate Change. The government’s National Mitigation Plan does not meet the legal requirements of the landmark Climate and Low Carbon Development Act 2015, Ireland is currently increasing emissions at a rate of 2 million tonnes per year.
Students’ Unions and young people are doing their bit; Dublin City University announced its plan to make itself plastic free by banning single-use plastic – a campaign led by students. University College Cork has a plastic-free cafe on campus, have issued every incoming fresher a free reusable cup and also have a plan to become plastic free by banning single-use plastic (another student-led campaign). USI launched an international energy saving campaign which provides students with practical ways to save energy and prevent fuel poverty.
All around Ireland, the student movement is committed to going green. USI host green weeks, green flags, drafting sustainability policies and workshops with the aim of increasing the engagement and development of environmental and social justice student societies around the country.
Yet meanwhile, the Irish government won’t meet their targets by 2020, holding the 3rd highest per capita greenhouse emissions in the EU. Experts say that the country is expected to pay fines of €600 million because of not meeting these targets; that money could be invested in essentials like education.
The case continues and a ruling is expected in the coming months.