Student climate protest February 2019 Photo; Kayle Crosson

Climate and biodiversity action “must drive” post-pandemic recovery

14 July 2020  Aligned policy measures addressing the climate and biodiversity crisis “can and must drive” the post-Covid 19 recovery, a new working paper has found.  The National Economic and Social Council (NESC) published a working paper today on how sustainability can be prioritised in the wake of the pandemic as the recovery presents, an […]

Tallaght wetland after levelling Photo: Collie Ennis

Land management and habitat protection crucial in preventing future pandemics

7 July 2020 Sustainable land management and habitat protection are key elements of preventing future zoonotic outbreaks like COVID-19, the UN has said.  In a joint report by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the “rising trend” in zoonotic diseases is attributed to “the degradation of our natural […]

Industrial Emissions Photo: Dirk Duckhorn

“Systemic change” still needed despite 2020 emissions reduction

3 July 2020 Despite a 9.5 per cent emissions reduction this year, Ireland will still fail to meet its 2030 climate targets in the absence of systemic change, a new state-commissioned analysis reveals. The Economic & Social Research Institute (ESRI) released its environmental and economic impact assessment of COVID-19 and projected economy-wide emissions would fall […]

Student climate protest February 2019 Photo; Kayle Crosson

Human beings are not a virus

June 4th, 2020 Fintan O’Toole likened human beings to a ‘toxic virus’, and a ‘relentless foulness’ from ‘the Earth’s point of view’, in his article about the Sign of the Times survey on public perceptions of climate change. This has become a recurring theme expressed throughout the pandemic, even as we bear witness to one […]

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The Circular Economy in the Recovery

June 3rd, 2020 We were all caught off guard by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the plastics industry was no different. The industry had invested in a large number of plants and planned to increase supply this year, so the current dramatic drop in demand for oil and plastics has come as a shock. It’s no […]

Hiding in plain sight: Covid-19 and air pollution

April 3rd, 2020 Coronavirus is hiding in plain sight. The idea of an illness-prompting, tiny particle, invisible to our eyes may sound novel and frightening to some. For scientists and ecological researchers, specialising in air pollution; however, this is nothing new. Air polluting particles have been undermining our health in urban, industrial regions for decades, […]

Airline emissions in Europe soared upwards in 2019

April 3rd, 2020 Fourteen of the 20 biggest polluting airlines saw their emissions rise in 2019, according to official EU figures released this week.  The 14 carriers released an extra 1.6 million tonnes of CO2 last year alone and the collective emissions figure for the aviation sector is expected to be released by the European […]

Car industry wants EU to relax CO2 targets due to Covid-19

April 2nd, 2020 The automobile industry is pushing the European Commission to relax car industry CO2 targets in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Representatives for car manufacturers, suppliers, tyre-makers and dealers wrote to Commission President Ursula von der Leyen last week asking for the let-up, stressing that the pandemic should justify postponing CO2 and […]

As Covid-19 spreads across Ireland, gorse fires roar in tandem

March 30th, 2020 A number of illegal gorse fires have raged across the country over the past week, burning hectares of land, impacting numerous species and diverting vital emergency services away from their focus on the Covid-19 pandemic. It is currently an offence under the Wildlife Act to burn any vegetation growing on any land […]

Covid-19 spread threat through poor discarding of wet wipes

March 26th, 2020 The novel coronavirus could spread to our recreational waters due to the improper disposal of wet wipes, a marine conservation group has warned.  Coastwatch issued the warning this week as many use wet wipes as a way to keep infection at bay as the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the disease Covid-19 continues […]