Photo: Office of the President
Photo: Office of the President

President outlines concern with pace of environmental ‘destruction’

November 12th, 2018

The President has expressed concern about the continuous decline of biodiversity across the planet and the lack of any indication that the “pace of that destruction” is slowing.

Speaking during his inauguration speech for his second term yesterday, Michael D Higgins said that the poorest are most affected by the damage done to the environment on “our fragile planet”.

This is due to the inadequate and imbalanced models of development that exist in the world today, he said at a ceremony in St Patricks Cathedral in Co Dublin.

The President raised concern that some countries signed up to both the Paris Agreement and the Un Agreement on Sustainable Development are “resiling” from their commitments.

“The issues of inter-generational justice raised by this cannot be ignored. We need to start taking responsibility, sharing capacities,” he said.

”Political vision, bravery and generosity are required for the making of the new urgent global conversation, commitment and action we must undertake together”.

Mr Higgins, who was reelected as the ninth President of Ireland, reiterated that ”the achievements of that necessary cohesion can be underpinned by a deepening of democracy at national, regional and global level”.

”That is surely one of our greatest challenges, and must be achieved by the taking of account of diversity in culture, beliefs and capacity”.

He suggested there we need new models and innovative thinking based on deeper and better connections between the economy, society, culture and ecology.

“The task is not simply the repair of an old connection broken, but rather the making of urgent global conversations and the turning of words into deeds at every level and in every sector. Those conversations are ones in which I, as President, look forward to supporting”.

Science and technology could play a powerful role to the global challenges faced by the planet, he said, but there must be some responsibility and accountability.

“We need to start taking responsibility, sharing capacities. Far from being abstract challenges, the consequences of neglect are already manifest,” he said.

By Gosego Moletsane