Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has commended the young people of Cork for their incredible demonstration against climate change on Friday.
The Ireland South MEP, who sits on the EU Culture and Education Committee, said she was hugely impressed by the amount of young people who turned out for the demonstration as well as their political awareness and acumen.
“The sheer energy of the protest in Cork today, and I’m sure right across the country, was invigorating,” she said.
“It’s clear the young people of Cork, and indeed Ireland, feel very strongly about the need for urgent action to combat climate change.
“Both the government and the EU would do well to listen to them. This is a grave and immediate problem but it is not insurmountable.
“We have approximately 12 years left to protect the planet before catastrophic damage becomes inevitable and unavoidable but we must act now.
“Just 100 companies are responsible for more than 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. This is where policy needs to be concentrated. Hitting ordinary people with a regressive carbon tax will disproportionately effect the poor and will not solve the problem.
“Multinationals will not adhere to the ‘Polluter Pays’ principles of their own accord; bold, decisive legislation is needed. The Government and the EU can do this, all that’s needed is political will.
“The young people of Cork, Ireland and indeed the world have made their voices very clear. They want system change, not climate change. And if they don’t get it, many of them will be using their first opportunity to vote to enact a change of government.”