There is no doubt that climate change is one of the single biggest challenges facing us all, and we must take steps to try todeal with the ongoing effects. The decisions we make now in tackling climate change will define the next century.
Climate change and air quality are closely linked. Air pollutants linked to fossil fuel consumption can impact air quality. Likewise, Ireland relies on greenhouse gas emitting imported fossil fuels to meet over 88% of our energy needs, at a cost of €12 million a day.
The health effects include that poor air quality is a factor in an estimated 1,600 deaths in Ireland each year, according to the European Environment Agency. Meanwhile, the Asthma Society of Ireland says that in 2019, one in 13 people in Ireland had asthma. This figures rises to one in 10 for children
Communities and Tidy Towns organisations can play a vital role in raising awareness of the importance of clean air for people's health and the environment, and provide a community voice to highlight the need to address local sources of air pollution. Awareness of how air quality impacts our health and the environment may lead people to make different choices when it comes to the fuel that they use, or the number of car journeys that they make. We want to see how communities will contribute towards helping Ireland lower its emissions.