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Climate Change

We are focussing far too much on the performance of the economy and not nearly enough on issues such as aging, social housing and sustainability, that have major implications for the wellbeing of individuals and society as a whole according to the National Social Monitor 2015 published by Social Justice Ireland.  It goes on to argue that a balance is required between the various aspects of life if the wellbeing of this and future generations is to be secured.

Social Justice Ireland strongly endorses the key messages on climate change contained in the new encyclical from Pope Francis.  In this 184-page document entitled ‘On Care for Our Common Home’ Francis urgently calls on the entire world's population to act, lest we leave to coming generations a planet of "debris, desolation and filth."

Sustainability is about ensuring that all development is socially, economically and environmentally sustainable. Sustainability forms a core pillar of Social Justice Ireland’s Policy Framework for a Just Ireland. A full analysis of the challenges in promoting sustainability and our policy proposals are contained in our Socio-Economic Review 2015 ‘Towards a Just Society’.  The chapter is available below.

To mark World Social Justice Day Social Justice Ireland  hosted a seminar to discuss the challenges that climate justice poses to policy making in Ireland both from a national and international perspective.  Two presentations outling the national and international challenges were given by the EPA and Trocaire respectively.  These presentations are available to download below.  This event also forms part of Social Justice Ireland's contribution to the European Year of Development 2015. 

Even if global greenhouse gas emissions are cut to the level required to keep global temperature rise below 2°C this century, the cost of adapting to climate change in developing countries is likely to reach two to three times the previous estimates of $70 billion-$100 billion per year by 2050, according to a new United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report.

The first UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) Adaptation Gap Report is a preliminary assessment of global adaptation gaps in finance, technology and knowledge, and lays out a framework for future work on better defining and bridging these gaps.  The report finds that, despite adaptation funding by public sources reaching $23-26 billion in 2012-2013, there will be a significant funding gap after 2020 unless new and additional finance for adaptation is made available.  It was published to coincide with a crucial round of climate talks in Lima, Peru, December 2015.

The annual Greenhouse Gas bulletin is published by the World Meteorological Organisation.  It reports on the latest trends and atmospheric burdens of the most influential, long-lived greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O), as well as a summary of the contributions of the lesser gases.

A major new report released by a commission of global leaders finds that governments and businesses can now improve economic growth and reduce their carbon emissions together. Rapid technological innovation and new investment in infrastructure are making it possible today to tackle climate change at the same time as improving economic performance.

John Sharry presented a paper at Social Justice Ireland's 2013 Social Policy Conference entitled 'Hope in the Face of Disaster – Creating a sustainable, viable path for future civilisation’.  The paper examines resource shortage economic instability, climate change and constructive responses to these challenges.

John Sharry's paper is available here.  The presentation of the paper and Q & A are available to view below.

John Sharry's paper 'Hope in the Face of Disaster ' presented at Social Justice Ireland's social policy conference 2013 'A Future Worth Living For'.

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