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The release of a new report by the EPA is a stark reminder of how far Ireland has to go to reach environmental sustainability, according to Jennifer Whitmore TD, Social Democrats spokesperson for Climate Action and Biodiversity.

Among the findings of the seventh EPA ‘State of the Environment Report’ are:

  • Almost ninety per cent of our energy is generated from fossil fuels giving rise to greenhouse gases;
  • air quality in some urban areas does not meet WHO standards;
  • nature and habitats are being damaged – 85% of EU listed habitats are in unfavourable condition;
  • raw sewage is being discharged to water from 35 towns and villages;
  • a dramatic reduction in the number of Ireland’s most pristine rivers, which have fallen from over 500 sites to only 20 sites in 30 years.
Commenting on the report, Deputy Whitmore said:
“This report notes that the overall quality of Ireland’s environment is not what it should be and the outlook is not optimistic unless we accelerate solutions across all sectors and society.

“It finds that while we have many plans and proposals to ensure the protection of our environment, our ability to do so is hampered by the lack of proper and speedy implementation of those plans.

“It is time to stop paying lip service to the environment and actually start achieving the change we know we must bring about.

“This report shows we still have a mountain to climb in our efforts to achieve environmental sustainability. Its findings are yet another wakeup call and need to be taken on board urgently by the Government.”

November 25, 2020

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