The country’s transition out of the pandemic is an opportunity for fresh thinking on climate change, the environmental watchdog said. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said that the state’s success in tackling Covid-19 proves that tackling climate change is also possible. “The response to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic is an example of a whole-of-government and whole-of-society response to tackling a public health emergency, and a similar response between society and government is needed to tackle Ireland’s key environmental issues, such as climate change and biodiversity loss,” it said in its state of the environment report (SOER), published today. “Quieter roads, less traffic and a better appreciation of local green and blue spaces, together with their biodiversity including wildflowers, butterflies and birds, were valued as quality-of-life improvements that we should strive to maintain,” it added. The EPA said that the combination of less traffic on roads, decreased industrial activities, fewer flights and increased number of people working from home led to significant changes in emissions and the amount of waste generated. Another report alongside the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland is expected to be released by the end of the year, that will look at the pandemic’s impact in more depth and specific ways the government can use this time to improve their climate change plan.
Times 25th Nov 2020 read more »