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Call to get cracking with Citizens’ Assembly


TWO Clare women are calling on the government to form a Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Emergency before the Dáil recess on July 16.
Emma Karran from Doonbeg and Emanuela Ferrari from Ennis are both supporters of the Climate Case Ireland group.
Climate Case Ireland delivered an open letter to the Department of Communication, Climate Action, and the Environment, calling on Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party to announce the date for a Citizens’ Assembly.
The group also called for the assembly’s agenda to include the possible recognition of a constitutional right to a safe, clean, healthy, and sustainable environment, and the principles of a Just Transition.
More than two years ago the Dáil declared a climate and biodiversity emergency and called for the Citizens’ Assembly to examine how the State can improve its response to the issue of biodiversity loss.
In the Programme for Government agreed in June 2020, the Government Parties committed to “progress the establishment of a Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity,” but so far the Climate Case Ireland group say no visible progress has been made.
In their open letter they call upon the Government to, ‘Treat this like a real emergency and announce the date for the Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss before July 16, 2021”.
Emma said, “The Dáil declared a climate and biodiversity emergency more than two years ago and promised to convene a Citizens’ Assembly to examine how the State should respond to the biodiversity crisis.
“It now needs to follow through on this promise and announce a date for the Citizens’ Assembly before Dáil recess on July 16th.
The Citizens’ Assembly should be tasked with discussing possible recognition of a Constitutional right to safe, clean, healthy, and sustainable environment.”
While Emanuela commented, “In March 2021, Ireland – alongside 68 other countries – submitted a statement to the UN Human Rights Council stating that ‘a safe, clean, healthy, and sustainable environment is integral to the full enjoyment of human rights.
“Surely, if the Government is supporting action to advance the recognition of environmental rights at the international level, a referendum at the national level should be proposed for consistency?
A Citizens’ Assembly on biodiversity provides an opportune forum to discuss this.”
Climate Case Ireland have also launched a public petition at https://my.uplift.ie/petitions/convene-a-citizens-assembly-on-the-biodiversity-crisis.

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