Politics Yaaay?

Week 11 saw us talking a look at a topic that I had never found interesting in the past – politics. However after learning more about it I can now say that I have changed my mind. And as we found out this week politics is an important part of environmental sustainability. The EU makes many of the environmental policies that Ireland is supposed to implement. And apparently they are doing a very bad job of implementing many of these policies. We heard about some of the things that Ireland is doing (well not doing to be honest) in our lectures this week

Last week an article published in the Irish Examiner talked about a ruling that the European Court of Justice has just passed regarding Irelands breach of an EU directive which set out how potentially dangerous developments are examined in order to look at the possible environmental effects of the development before any planning permission is granted.

The specific case in question was one that was taken by CHASE (Cork harbour for a safe environment) about the potential building of 2 incinerators in Ringaskiddy in Cork. The multimillion euro incinerators were going to be built by a waste management company called Indaver. An environmental impact assessment was made by the EU and the proposal was found to be in breach of the environmental laws of the EU.

I find it hard to believe that Ireland is having such a difficult time implementing these laws. Surely it cannot be that hard to ensure that problems like the one at Ringaskiddy do not occur. Especially considering that other much larger countries in the EU find it much easier to implement such laws. In 2009 Ireland faced 31 cases for failing to implement or transpose EU legislation. The only countries that ranked behind Ireland were Spain and Italy.

Ireland has also been one of the slowest countries in Europe to implement the EU legislation that gives people greater involvement in the decision making part of issues relating to the environment. Ireland was the last country to ratify the Aarhus Treaty. This Treaty involves the right of a person to a healthy environment. It is another disappointment to me that Ireland is so much worse than the other EU countries to implement these things. Hopefully we will start to improve in the near future.






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