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Environment

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.

The National Social Monitor 2015 outlines the present situation on a range of policy issues that impact on people’s well-being.  Social Justice Ireland presents the National Social Monitor as a contribution to the public debate that is urgently needed on Ireland’s future and how Ireland is performing in terms of promoting the wellbeing of all in society.

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.

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.

Professor Seán Ó Rian presented a paper at Social Justice Ireland's 2013 Social Policy Conference entitled 'Economic Foundations of Social Progress - Ireland through a Nordic Lens'.  The paper examines social protection, employment, finance and institutional transformation from an Irish and a European perspective.

The paper is available here.

The presentation and Q & A session are available to view below.

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