The European Council of Ministers met today in Brussels to discuss the biodiversity emergency and the recently announced Green New Deal [i]. The meeting was to discuss the outcomes of the COP25 meeting in Madrid, the important links between the climate and biodiversity crises, and formulating strategies to restore natural ecosystems. However Ireland’s minister for Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan, with responsibility for biodiversity, was nowhere to be seen.
The absence of any senior figure representing Ireland at this important meeting reflects poorly on our country and perpetuates the belief that Ireland does not take the protection of the environment seriously. Despite the Dáil declaring a climate and biodiversity emergency earlier in 2019, we are failing in the fight to protect nature. Its not hard to see why when key figures with responsibility for this area fail to turn up for their job.