Siobhán Wins Meet your MEP – Climate Change Competition

Presentation Castleisland Student, Siobhán Brosnan’s essay on Climate Change won her a trip to Brussels to meet her Fine Gael MEP, Seán Kelly.

Presentation Secondary School, Castleisland Transition Year student, Siobhán Brosnan was invited to Brussels recently to meet local MEP Seán Kelly.

As part of the ‘Meet Your MEP Programme 2018’ Siobhán submitted an entry in a Climate Change essay competition and she was one of the lucky few students to be selected for this trip of a lifetime.

During the three day trip to Brussels, Siobhán was shown the workings of the EU and learned about the work of an MEP.

The agenda also included meetings and tours in the European Parliament and the European Commission, free time in Brussels, and several climate change related activities.

The following is Siobhan’s trip winning essay.
How Ireland Can Play its Part in the Global Fight against Climate Change

The global fight against climate change impacts every single person on Earth. It matters to everyone, old and young, rich and poor.

Every single nation must participate in this battle. Ireland may be a small nation, but the global fight against climate change is greatly important to each citizen.

Play our Part

We as a nation must play our part in the fight to combat climate change. But how should we go about this?

Before we examine what further action can be taken in this fight, we must remember what we are already doing. Ireland has ratified several actions on climate change with the EU, as part of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement (PCA).

These actions are the main way in which we can help in the global fight against climate change.

Range of Targets

These actions include reaching a range of targets before 2020, such as reducing our greenhouse gas emissions to 20% below our 2005 levels, and generating 16% of our energy from renewable sources. However, we are failing to meet these goals. A European Commission-supported report suggests that Ireland is only 21% compliant with the PCA. So, how can we improve?

Increasing the solid fuel carbon tax (SFCT) is one way in which Ireland can play its part.

Tax on Solid Fuels

The SCFT is a tax on solid fuels that stands at rate of €20 per tonne of CO2 emitted by the fuel concerned. If this tax were doubled, importation of peat and coal would be discouraged, and the surplus money could be funnelled toward building renewable energy sites.

Renewable energy is a great tool in the global fight against climate change.

Ireland has yet to embrace solar energy, which could greatly reduce our CO2 emissions.

If every household in Ireland used solar panels, emissions would drop by a staggering 17,571,970 tonnes yearly.

Tidal Energy Untapped

This is equal to 30% of Ireland’s annual emissions! Tidal energy is also an untapped resource.

If Ireland set up two tidal power stations equal to South Korea’s Sihwa Park, energy levels equal to 1,724,000 barrels of oil could be generated.

Doing all of this would ensure Ireland is actively reducing its contribution to the world’s CO₂ emission levels.

But how can we help other nations? The answer is to be found in planting trees. A single tree can absorb just under a tonne of carbon dioxide in 40 years.

Increase Trees by 10%

If Ireland increased its number of trees by 10%, 70,900,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide could be absorbed in 40 years, or 1,700,000 tonnes annually. This would be a great aid in the global fight against climate change.

We must meet the agreements set out in the PCA and fight further. Ireland must take action. We must utilise our natural resources and spurn fossil fuels, plant trees and harness our seas. Above all, we must work together, every citizen of Ireland in conjunction with every nation in the world, to ensure a healthy, safe future for the children of tomorrow. We must play our part in the global fight against climate change.

You can contact The Maine Valley Post on…
Anyone in The Maine Valley Post catchment area who would like to send us news and captioned photographs for inclusion can send them to: 

Queries about advertising and any other matters regarding The Maine Valley Post can also be sent to that address or just ring: 087 23 59 467.

Please Note: A click on any of our adverts will reveal all you need to know about what our advertisers need to tell you.

Copyright Notice: The images and text which appear on The Maine Valley Post site remain the exclusive property of John Reidy, (unless stated otherwise) and are protected under International Copyright laws. Images or text may not be reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without the written permission of the author, John Reidy, in this instance. Use of any image as the basis for another photographic concept or illustration (digital, artist rendering or alike) is a violation of International Copyright laws. All images are copyrighted by John Reidy 2018.