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Climate and Covid-19 heed no borders

Colm McCarthy


The crucial weaknesses in EU emissions policy are the territorial basis and arbitrary measurement of the targets, writes Colm McCarthy

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'National governments, of which there are 200 around the world, have weak incentives to pursue costly adjustment to solve a planetary problem'

'National governments, of which there are 200 around the world, have weak incentives to pursue costly adjustment to solve a planetary problem'

'National governments, of which there are 200 around the world, have weak incentives to pursue costly adjustment to solve a planetary problem'

Climate change shares a critical feature with the Covid pandemic: it does not lend itself to narrow, country-by-country policy responses. The virus is unaware that humans have constructed national political frontiers, and the planet has just one atmosphere, its accumulating stock of greenhouse gases shorn of national identity the day they are emitted. Purely national responses will fail in both cases.

Last July, the Government published Ireland's Climate Action Plan (CAP), following the strong performance of the Green Party in the local and European elections. Endorsed by an all-party Oireachtas committee, the CAP promises accelerated action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Ireland, one of the countries to have fallen behind the targets set by the European Union.


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