Midleton Student Encourages Government to Lead the Way on climate Change


A Midleton teenager has told a joint Sitting of the Oireachtas that they need to do more to tackle climate change.   5th year student Alison Duggan from St Colman’s Community College told members of the Dail yesterday  that there is an urgent need to develop evidence-based legislation to combat climate change.

The 16 year old, the only Secondary student to take part in the ‘Sense about Science’ Conference, told politicians “Scientific evidence matters.  It is clear and stark.”  Human activities are producing increasing levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), the main greenhouse gas that is causing climate changes on our Planet.  As sea levels rise, ice caps melt and erratic weather affects communities across the globe.  Time is running out to address global warming but through appropriate land use and the associated benefits to our biodiversity, we can reverse our folly.”

“We need to be innovative in developing economic structures and markets that are based on long term common good value, not on short-term price” commented Ms Duggan.

It is predicted that we have little over a decade to make changes that could affect climate change.

The world’s leading climate change experts say we have just 12 years to keep global warming at a maximum of 1.5C.   At just half a degree beyond this the risk of drought, flooding, extreme heat and poverty for millions worsens.

Cork County Council was appointed the lead Authority to set up and manage a Climate Action Office for the Atlantic Seaboard, in association with UCC and CIT, in March.

The new Climate Change Office is tasked with developing expertise in the climate change risks of coastal flooding, sea level rise and storms common off our coast.

It forms part of the Government’s National Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act, 2015 requiring the establishment of a National Mitigation Plan and National Adaptation Framework.

But, for Midleton student Alison Dugan, more needs to be done.

“I am 16 years old and in another 16 years, it may be too late. The evidence shows we need to act now.”

Sense about Science is an independent campaigning charity that challenges the misrepresentation of science and evidence in public life.