Thomond Park ‘could become an island’ if urgent climate action isn’t taken, Limerick conference hears

Dr. Cara Augustenborg, Assistant Professor in Environmental Policy, UCD. Photo: Alan Place.

THOMOND Park could become another Limerick island if urgent climate action isn’t taken, a Limerick conference was told.

The ‘Nights Candles are Burnt Out’ culture and climate conference held recently heard that, based on current rates of change in relation to flooding and sea levels, Thomond Park could “become an island” in the next quarter century.

Keynote speaker at the event Dr Cara Augustenborg made the stark claim in a presentation, based on an image generated from the Climate Central website, which predicts areas at risk of serious flooding and land projected to be below annual flood level by 2050.

According to the current rate of change, based on Climate Central predictions, a significant swathe of Limerick could be severely impacted by flooding by 2050, sweeping from Castletroy and Ballysheedy as far as Kildimo and Adare.

Potential flooding risk areas in Limerick by 2050. Photo: Climate Central.

Dr Augustenborg said that a skilled workforce is badly needed to address climate challenges, pointing out that if Ireland were to become 100 per cent renewable, it could create 100,000 jobs.

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She also encouraged everyone to engage with their elected representatives on climate change issues, particularly in the upcoming local elections.

The conference also delved into Ireland’s potential to become a net exporter of energy, emphasising the need for strategic planning to reach this goal.

Throughout the day-long conference, the importance of involving local communities was a recurring theme, with speakers on the day emphasising the important role of culture and art in driving the energy transition.

Green Party TD Brian Leddin said that the event “felt like a citizens assembly today, we need to do more of this. People want to do the right thing but need the right information and resources to be empowered.”

Hunt Museum director Jill Cousins, added that the Nights Candles are Burnt Out conference “delivered a dynamic dialogue between speakers and delegates and inspired tangible actions, to be published in March, towards a sustainable future”.