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Irish parliament declares climate emergency

Ireland’s parliament has become the second after Britain’s to declare a climate emergency, a decision hailed by the Swedish teenage environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg as “great news”.

An amendment to a parliamentary report declaring a climate emergency and calling on the parliament “to examine how [the Irish government] can improve its response to the issue of biodiversity loss” was accepted without a vote late on Thursday.

The Irish Green party leader, Eamon Ryan, who moved the amendment, called the decision “historic”.

Thunberg, the 16-year-old activist who has spearheaded protests across Europe and is becoming one of the most passionate voices of the green movement , urged more nations to follow suit.

“Great news from Ireland!! Who is next?” she tweeted.

Britain’s parliament became the first in the world to declare a climate emergency, passing the largely symbolic motion on 1 May. The step followed 11 days of street protests in London by the Extinction Rebellion environmental campaign group .

The total temperature increase from 1850 – 1899 to 2001 – 2005 is 0.76°C.

Extinction Rebellion’s ultimate goal is to slash global greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2025 and to end biodiversity loss, steps that have won the backing of left-leaning politicians across the world.

The British government is eyeing a 2050 target date to reach net zero emissions, which it says can be achieved without causing substantial economic damage and at a relatively low cost.