Ophelia warns us to act on climate
Hurricane Ophelia represents the latest severe weather warning in Ireland in recent times, the impacts of which have been quite devastating in large parts of the country, notably along the western seaboard and in the flood plains along the River Shannon. At this stage, meteorological experts are uncertain as to when and how Ophelia will hit, but there is strong evidence from weather forecast models that its remnants will track close to or even over parts of Ireland tomorrow and Tuesday. While it was not possible at the time of writing to quantify the exact timing, or the strength or intensity of the wind and rain, this latest weather warning nonetheless represents a further wake-up call on the issue of climate change, which remains the global challenge of our generation.
Ireland faces significant challenges in reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, the profile of which reflects both the structure of our economy as well as the outcome of curtailed public and private investment capacity over the course of recent years.
The options available to reduce emissions here are neither straightforward nor cost-free, but there is one certainty - ignoring the issue of not an option.