Greta Thunberg, the sixteen year old climate activist was named 2019 Time Person of the Year.
The Swedish school girl is the youngest person to be chosen by the magazine since the tradition started in 1927. She came to prominence in 2018 when she began her Fridays for the Future School Strikes. The strikes encouraged young people to take an active stance in fighting for climate action. Since then she has rallied millions of others to strike in more than 150 countries.
Thunberg began a global movement by skipping school: starting in August 2018, she spent her days camped out in front of the Swedish Parliament, holding a sign painted in black letters on a white background that read Skolstrejk för klimatet: “School Strike for Climate.”
The choice of Thunberg is unsurprising as Climate Action has moved to the forefront of people’s minds in recent years.
2019 saw Climate Action take an important role in Ireland and Government. May 2019 say the rise of the Green Wave across European Elections. In June, the Government announced its Climate Action Plan which outlined their plan to fight climate change. Key points included 70% of electricity being generated from renewable sources and having 600,000 heat pumps installed by 2030.
Irelands Climate Action Plan 2030
The full report is quite extensive and is available on the Government website. The key things we have taken away from this are:
- 70% of our electricity will be generated by renewable sources, we will phase our coal and peat.
- Homeowners will generate their own electricity and sell back to the grid under a new micro generation scheme.
- By 2030 Ireland aim to have 500,000 existing homes upgraded to a BER rating of B2 or higher.
- 600,000 heat pumps are to be installed nationwide (of which 400,000 will be in existing buildings).
- Just short of 1,000,000 vehicles will be powered solely by electricity. There will be construction of an EV charging network to stay ahead of demand.
- 8,000 hectares of newly planted forests per year.
- There will be a ban on single use plastic including polystyrene food, cup and drink containers.
- 1,200 low emission buses in the cities for public transport.
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