At Leinster House today, the RTÉ Youth Assembly on Climate, in association with the Houses of the Oireachtas, called on adults and elected representatives to take action on their recommendations on climate change.
157 young people, between 10 and 17 years, from all over Ireland gathered in the Dáil to discuss the climate crisis and look at solutions.The delegates issued this statement:
“We, the youth of Ireland, call on our elected representatives and on adults to listen. We put forward our recommendations for action to stop climate breakdown. We are NOT experts. In our recommendations we offer ideas but we do NOT have answers. It is a starting point for adults and particularly for those elected to protect and progress our society. We call on you to listen to the science, to take on board our Recommendations and to work on our behalf to ensure that we – and you – have a future.”
The 157 delegates of the RTÉ Youth Assembly issued these 10 recommendations:
1.From your corner store to your supermarket, we call on the house to incentivise and obligate the installation of glass doors on open refrigerators.
2.For Ireland to ban the importation of fracked gas and invest solely in renewables.
3. Implementing measures that will allow that Irish goods be both eco-sustainable and affordable in todays’ Irish Market.
4. Implement a tiered tax on emissions from large companies including those under capital Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). This tax must be increased every year while threshold decreases, shifting the burden from individuals to corporations.
5. Investment in industrial hemp facilities to provide a viable, sustainable and alternative land use for farmers as well as employment in rural Ireland.
6. A labeling and pricing system showing the climate impact of food products based on criteria such as impact of packaging and distance traveled.
7. Ireland to outlaw acts of ecocide – the widespread and systematic loss of ecosystems, including climate and cultural damage.
8. Protect existing forests and make compulsory that at least 10% of all land owned for agricultural uses is dedicated to forestry.
9. A targeted nationwide information campaign to educate the population about the climate crisis regarding the causes, the effects and the solutions.
10. Mandatory “sustainability” education from primary level to the workplace including a new compulsory Junior Cycle and optional Leaving Certificate subject.
The statement and recommendations will be published on www.rte.ie/youthassembly from 2.30pm today giving the public an opportunity to endorse and add weight to the voice of the Youth Assembly.
Ceann Comhairle, Seán Ó Fearghaíl, TD said: “The 157 young people are not only passionate about climate and protecting the environment, but they also have real proposals across a range of areas which can make a difference to Ireland’s response to climate. It is very important that the Houses of the Oireachtas welcomed delegates from all across Ireland to Leinster House as we did today, from the very first time I saw young people protest peacefully outside Leinster House I was of the view that their voices should be heard inside the gates of democracy. The solution-based approach of our young people and the pragmatic manner in which they communicated their knowledge of the climate challenges we face gives me great hope for the future.”
Dee Forbes, RTÉ Director-General, said: “Today we see real and profound proposals from 157 of our young people that could help us define Ireland’s response to climate. This is not just aspirational, this is a practical engagement by our future adults, our future parents, our future leaders. This is their hope, and I’m proud that RTÉ and the Houses of the Oireachtas could facilitate their coming together. There is no better conclusion to RTÉ’s week of programmes on climate.”
Some of the delegates of the RTÉ Youth Assembly on Climate will appear on The Late Late Show tonight on RTÉ One.