Ireland Current Affairs - 2019

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Republic of Ireland declares Climate Emergency

Republic of Ireland has become only the second country in world to declare a climate emergency. Earlier on 1 May 2019, Britain’s parliament became the first in world to declare a climate emergency.

Key Highlights

  • The climate emergency declaration was passed by both the government and opposition parties of Ireland unanimously. Both agreed to an amendment to ‘Oireachtas report on Climate Action’ (a parliamentary report on climate action). The ammendement was accepted without a vote.
  • Targets: to be undertaken includes- becoming carbon-neutral by 2030, introduce electric car hubs or build sustainable homes to try to achieve that goal.
  • The Oireachtas Climate Action report that started the Irish declaration came from a Citizens’ Assembly report. The Citizens’ Assembly will next be considering the issue of a biodiversity emergency.
  • The Citizens’ Assembly: It is the Ireland’s citizens’ assembly which was established in 2016 for considering several political questions like referendums, abortion, population ageing, fixed term parliaments, and climate change etc. The report produced by it to be considered by the Oireachtas (Ireland’s Legislature).
  • Next Move: The Ireland will next vote on a Climate Emergency Measures Bill, which seeks to limit oil and gas exploration.
  • Criticism: declaring a climate emergency will mean absolutely nothing unless there is action taken to back it up. Also, there is no single definition of what a climate emergency actually means.

Ireland Legislature

  • The national parliament of Ireland is known as Oireachtas. It consists of, The President of Ireland and a bicameral chamber. It is the only body that has power to make laws.
  • The two houses of Oireachtas are
  1. Dáil Éireann (lower house)
  2. Seanad Éireann (Upper House)

About Britain’s Protest

  • Britain declared the climate emergency following the 11 days of street protests led by ‘Extinction Rebellion’ environmental campaign group in London, UK.
  • The ultimate goal of Extinction Rebellion’s is to cut down global greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions to zero by 2025 and to end biodiversity loss.
  • They have won the support of left-leaning politicians across the world.
  • The British government targets include reducing its carbon emissions by 80% (compared to 1990 levels) by 2050. It seeks to achieve the target at a relatively low cost and without causing substantial economic damage.

Others

  • The targets are being set in Scotland to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to net-zero by 2045.
  • Many local areas around the United Kingdom (UK) have also acknowledge that there is a climate emergency.

StartupBlink Ranking of Countries for Startup Environment

StartupBlink has ranked 100 countries for startup environment of countries globally. The rankings were based on the data from over 61,000 startups, more than 500 accelerators, and over 1,400 coworking spaces registered on its platform along with data gathered from its global partners including Crunchbase, SimilarWeb etc.

The rankings were based on the impact startups have been able to make in the country, how many startups and support organisations are there such as accelerators, coworking spaces, startup events along with technology infrastructure, red tape, bureaucracy, etc.

Findings of the Report

  • The US, the UK, Canada, Israel, and Australia have been ranked in top5 in the rankings.
  • India was ranked 17th in the rankings and has climbed 20 spots (rank 37) from the previous ranking.
  • China was ranked 27th.
  • Estonia (13), Ireland (14), and Germany (9) were ranked ahead of India for their startup ecosystems.
  • The challenge before India is to improve the overall quality of startups and increase the number of unicorns than currently exist.

In the ranking of cities, Bengaluru stood at 11, New Delhi at 18 and Mumbai at 29. San Francisco Bay, New York, London, Los Angeles, and Boston topped the ranking among the cities.