A guide to the Government's Climate Conversations
This is an issue many young people deeply care about, so have your say on the Government's climate action plans
In this article
- What is the Climate Action Plan?
- How to take part in the Climate Conversations public consultation
- What to say in your climate conversations form
- Information and resources on climate change
The Irish Government has recently launched ‘Climate Conversations’ to better understand what citizens and communities want to see in the Government’s Climate Action Plan.
This is a chance to have your say on the Government’s climate policy and let them know what you think they should be doing to help us reduce the impacts of climate change and secure a more sustainable future.
The results of this consultation will feed into the Government’s Climate Action Plan 2021.
What is the Climate Action Plan?
The 2021 Climate Action Plan is the Government’s roadmap towards a climate-neutral future by 2050. Being climate-neutral means we are no longer relying on fossil fuels (like gas, coal and oil) for our energy needs - which is better for the planet. Burning fossil fuels releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which causes global warming and results in climate change.
To be carbon-neutral, we need to dramatically reduce the amount of greenhouse gas we put into the atmosphere and find ways to remove what we’ve already put into the atmosphere. Government policies are key to ensuring this happens - while every individual can play their part in reducing their carbon footprint, it’s important that we have clear and decisive plans from the Government so we can achieve this.
How to have your say on Government climate policy
The Climate Conversations public consultation is an opportunity to tell the Government what you think of their actions so far, and what you believe they should do in the future.
The questions on the form focus on what the Government can do to help you as an individual take action on climate change - but there is space for you to also share what you think the Government should be doing too.
How to take part in the Climate Conversations public consultation
You can take part in Climate Conversations by filling out the online consultation survey.
It will take between 5 and 15 minutes to fill in the survey depending on how much you want to say.
Who can fill in the form?
Anyone over 16 can complete the survey. Anyone under 16 will be consulted through another process.
What to say in your climate conversations form
Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a climate expert to fill in the survey. This is a chance for you to share what you think, in your own words.
However, if you want some guidance on what you could say, here are some key things to think about when filling in the form:
Individual vs Government responsibility
The Climate Conversations form gives you an opportunity to think about steps you can take in your own life to reduce climate change. However, direct and ambitious government action is what’s going to make a real difference in this climate crisis. While filling out the form, make it clear to the government that you want to see them take action.
Make sure they know you care
This is a great opportunity to show decision-makers that young people care about their future and the impact of the climate crisis. The more young people who fill this in, the more powerful that message will be. It will also put more pressure on the government to follow through on their proposed plans.
Remember it’s okay if you haven’t done much
The form asks you what you have been doing to take climate action, and this puts the responsibility back on you. It’s okay to say that you haven’t done much in a certain area. For example, you might not have made many changes around your home if you’re living with parents or guardians or if you’re renting. Or you might be limited when it comes to your choices around what purchases you make.
Try not to feel guilty or discouraged if you haven’t been able to take certain actions or if you’re not sure what to say when they ask if you have any ideas for tackling certain issues - you don’t need to have all the answers.
Things you can ask for from the Government
Each section will ask you about the areas where the Government could support you in taking more action in 2021 or if you have any ideas or suggestions for what the Government should be doing. If you’re unsure what to say, here are some ideas:
Ask for more ambitious climate policies
Ask for more funding to be directed towards projects on climate action
Ask for more opportunities for young people to get involved in climate action
Demand the Government meet our targets laid out by the EU and in the Paris Agreement
Demand the Government set more ambitious targets, and puts policy in place to meet those targets
Information and resources on climate change
Here are some SpunOut.ie factsheets on the climate crisis: