Jennifer Whitmore TD

Politicians, from every party, must also stop talking out of both sides of their mouths

The report of the Citizens’ Assembly on biodiversity loss must be a watershed moment that forces the State to take protective action, according to Social Democrats Climate Spokesperson Jennifer Whitmore.

“The report of the Citizens’ Assembly is stark – but hopeful. To give an indication of the extent of the problems we face – more than a quarter of our bird species are in danger of extinction and nearly 50pc of our freshwater systems are in a poor and deteriorating condition.

“A biodiversity emergency was declared by the previous government in 2019, but it didn’t do anything to address that emergency. This laissez faire attitude has persisted with this government, which publishes action plans but does not implement or enforce them.

“It is notable that many of the overarching recommendations of this report implore the State to enforce existing laws that are routinely flouted without consequence. This is an indictment of the failure of the State to prevent biodiversity desserts arising across the country that are in danger of becoming endemic.

“This report makes numerous cross-sectoral recommendations that must be acted on. It makes clear that what is needed are ambitious targets, scrupulous oversight and adequate resources.

“Politicians, from every party, must also stop talking out of both sides of their mouths. It is not possible to simultaneously be a champion of our essential biodiversity while endorsing polluting practises in industry and agriculture.

“Time is running out to address this crisis – if we don’t, future generations will pay a heavy price. This report must be a watershed moment that compels the State to take immediate and sustained protective action. Failure cannot be countenanced.”

5 April, 2023


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