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At Ben & Jerry’s we know that now, more than ever, we need to keep the momentum going behind conversations about our environment. Fears are rising for the future of our planet and - as we say here at HQ - ‘’if it’s melted, it’s ruined!’’.
So, as you can imagine we were shocked to hear of the Irish Government’s decision to abolish the Department of Environment! This change means that Ireland is the only EU Member State with NO Minister of Environment. Imagine that?
Our friends at Stop Climate Chaos, amongst others, are with us on this one, and have reacted negatively to the government’s decision. Friends of the Earth, VOICE, An Taisce, BirdWatch Ireland and the Irish Wildlife Trust have all joined forces to raise the issue with the public and the government!
To date, over 13,500 people have already signed a petition to have the department reinstated. Thankfully, it seems as though the pressure has taken effect. “The Tánaiste has now stated that the Government is committed to “a joined up approach to environmental policy...” said Friends of the Earth Director Oisín Coghlan, “But we need to keep up the pressure to make sure these encouraging words are translated into action.”
Who’s going to be flying the flag for climate justice and sustainability issues within the government now, without a Department of Environment? The functions previously served by The Department of Environment are now going to be included within a wider functioning department.
As of June 2016, plans for a transfer of functions from the old Department of Environment will move to a Department of ‘Communications, Climate Action and Environment’ according to Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Denis Naughten. Hopefully this transfer of the environment function means that our synergies between our climate crisis and sustainable energy policy will be fully realised.
Let’s keep the pressure on our local government representatives to ensure the focus on the Environment is not lost!
You can read more about Ben & Jerry’s and climate justice here.
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