Cities’ further steps regarding climate change action

Lord Mayor of Dublin, Hazel Chu participated in an online discussion on cities and climate action hosted by the Institute of International European Affairs (IIEA) and the Embassy of France in Ireland. She said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the inequalities in society and highlighted the need for climate change action”.

Mayor Chu said the inequalities need to be addressed and that if any positive can come from the pandemic, hopefully it is that these inequities have been exposed. She said now is the time for leaders, including Ireland’s coalition Government, to “step up” to the challenges posed.

“Covid has highlighted the inequalities in society. It’s something we’re trying to fix. What it has highlighted is that there are huge issues that we need to build forward for – climate action being embedded in those,” mayor Chu added.  “What we saw in February 2020, a younger generation, a younger cohort were championing what we need to do in terms of climate action and climate change,” she said. “What we’ve seen during Covid is a lot of other generations come on board as well to try and drive that change because they can automatically spot the inequalities of what Covid has produced in terms of societal issues and what climate issues have been highlighted for years and years and we’ve done nothing about.”

Mayor of Marseille Michele Rubirola said she wanted to build a fairer city because Marseille had been “suffering” inequalities for years between the northern part of the city, which is dedicated to the port, and the coastal area of the south. “We have to face climate change and reduce our dependency on fossil energies and reduce, as much as possible, the impact on biodiversity as well as improving quality of marine life,” mayor Rubirola said. “We have to find balance between technological solutions and incentives to changes in behaviours.”

She said all stakeholders needed to participate in addressing climate change, from members of the public to local authorities to companies, experts, officials and politicians. “If you impose things on people, you have to make sure that they are involved in this change. That’s what I wanted to do in Marseille, put humans at the heart of the process to avoid losing people”, said mayor Rubirola.

 

Photo credi IIEA/Twitter