Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

The Irish Parliament declared a climate emergency on Thursday after campaigning by the grassroots group Extinction Rebellion. (Photo: @ExtinctRebelsIE/Twitter)

After Applause for Ireland's Climate Emergency Declaration, Climate Campaigners Say: 'Now Act'

"Declaring an emergency means absolutely nothing unless there is action to back it up. That means the government having to do things they don't want to do."

Julia Conley

Climate action advocates applauded the Irish Parliament on Thursday after lawmakers officially declared a climate emergency—while warning that the declaration must be accompanied by concrete action.

Pushed by the Irish Green Party in response to the demands of the grassroots movement Extinction Rebellion, the declaration was added to a parliamentary report on climate action.

The document calls on lawmakers to "examine how [the Irish government] can improve its response to the issue of biodiversity loss."

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan called the step "historic" while noting that the government must now fulfill the other major demands of climate campaigners, including shifting to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2025.

"Declaring an emergency means absolutely nothing unless there is action to back it up," Ryan said. "That means the government having to do things they don't want to do."

Extinction Rebellion in Ireland agreed, holding a rally outside Parliament on Friday "to demand our government takes real action on the climate and ecological crisis."

Ireland was among the first countries in the world to declare a climate emergency. British Parliament and the Welsh Assembly both voted to make declarations last week, while Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon issued the declaration in late April.

Both countries made the move after Extinction Rebellion spent more than a week occupying landmarks across London as well as in Ireland, demanding that governments "tell the truth" about the climate crisis by declaring an emergency.

The group also wants countries around the world to stop all greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 and to establish citizens' assemblies to lead on climate and ecological justice issues.

Ireland's climate emergency declaration was pushed by the country's Citizens' Assembly, which was established in 2016 to address "some of the most important issues facing Ireland's future," including the climate.  

Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist who addressed Extinction Rebellion last month and who has catalyzed millions around the globe to attend climate action marches, applauded the Irish Parliament's decision—and called on other countries to declare emergencies as well.

"Great news from Ireland!!" Thunberg tweeted. "Who is next?"


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'No Time to Waste': New Nationwide March For Our Lives Protests Set for June 11

"Together, we rose up four years ago. One million of us demanded change. We built a movement. We voted for new leaders. And the gun deaths increased. Now is the moment we march again."

Brett Wilkins ·


'We Need Fewer Guns in Schools, Not More': Teachers Reject GOP Call for Armed Educators

"Teachers should be teaching, not acting as armed security guards," the president of a leading teachers' union asserted in the wake of the Robb Elementary School massacre in Texas.

Brett Wilkins ·


Faith Leaders, Teachers Mobilize for Protests at NRA's Houston Meeting in Wake of Uvalde Massacre

"Don't look away," said one advocacy group. "Rally against the NRA."

Julia Conley ·


NY Appeals Court Rules Trump and Two of His Kids Must Testify in Financial Fraud Case

"Our investigation will continue undeterred because no one is above the law," said New York Attorney General Letitia James.

Kenny Stancil ·


After Racist Massacre in Buffalo, Senate GOP Blocks Domestic Terrorism Bill

"There are a lot of MAGA Republicans for whom no amount of gun violence... will ever, ever convince them to take any action," said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo