The Environmental Protection Agency study revealed Limerick residents are conscious of climate change as local activist states locals are becoming “more scared”
By Aislinn Kelly
83% of Limerick people are worried about climate change, a new study released by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has revealed.
95% of those surveyed in Limerick believe that climate change will harm future generations, the study revealed.
Responding to if climate change is already harming people in Ireland or will within 10 years, 69% of Limerick people agreed, the interactive county by county map revealed.
82% of Limerick’s population is worried that water polution will harm their locality according to the study.
59% of Limerick people are worried that water shortages will harm their local area, while 63% were worried that rising sea levels will harm their locality.
94% of those surveyed were in support of using fossil fuel taxes to improve transportation infrastructure while 95% were in support of using fossil fuel taxes to develop clean energy sources.
Only 31% of those in Limerick surveyed knew that Ireland’s agriculture sector is the largest pollution source.
The study released by the EPA highlights the national, regional and county-level data around people’s climate change beliefs, attitudes, policy preferences and behaviours.
The data comes as part of the Climate Change in the Irish Mind Study undertaken by the EPA and Yale University Programme on Climate Change and Communication.
62% of Limerick’s population regard climate change as personally important.
An overwhelming majority of Irish people are in full agreement that climate change is happening and large proportions of the population are worried about it, the data shows.
Almost nine in ten adults in all regions believe Ireland has a responsibility to act on climate change. In addition, almost eight in ten people in all counties believe acting on climate change will improve our quality of life.
Speaking about the climate change opinion maps, Dr Eimear Cotter, Director of the Office of Evidence & Assessment said:
“We see a picture of attitudes, behaviours, and policy preferences to climate change across counties and regions that are closely aligned with high levels of awareness and worry about climate change in each area.
“For example, almost nine in ten adults in all regions believe Ireland has a responsibility to act on climate change and almost eight in ten people in all counties believe acting on climate change will improve our quality of life.”
Those who live in counties that are more impacted by environmental hazards such as severe storms and water shortages express slightly higher levels of concern about the impacts of climate change.
Limerick climate activist Saoirse Exton cites the increasing concern around climate change being the impacts are becoming more apparent, such as recent flooding in Pakistan and California or the droughts in Venice.
Ms Exton said: “We are beginning to feel the effects of the climate crisis here in Ireland. Yes, the effects are still minimal, but a slightly warmer January, a slightly frostier December are becoming noticeable and people are scared.”
Ireland’s approach to the climate crisis is also a source of contention, with Exton branding the measures such as taxing the individual as inadequate.
“In reality, the government can do a lot, but it is corporate power and deeply ingrained economic systems of exploitation that keep Ireland and the world embroiled in failing societies that are leading to planetary destruction.”
Exton continued: “I think the major thing to remember is that all of this inequality we experience across every sector is the result of a system based on exploitation and wealth accumulation, and a choice maintained by governments, wealthy individuals and corporations worldwide.”
The full study and interactive map are available to view here.