The conversation about climate action in Ireland has been "hijacked" by vested interests trying to protect their own sectors, according to environmental journalist and commentator John Gibbons.
He says urgent, collective action is needed - as "the house is on fire, and we have to do whatever it takes".
John was speaking after the publication yesterday of proposed carbon budgets, aimed at reducing emissions by 51% by 2030.
The Climate Change Advisory Council says 'significant changes' to Irish life are now needed to achieve the climate targets.
John Gibbons told Newstalk Breakfast the ambitious targets are needed after a decade of "really making no progress at all" towards climate action.
He suggested some parts of the economy are "not moving remotely quickly enough" to achieve system-wide decarbonisation.
He observed: “The problem is we’re kind of in this situation where physics doesn’t really care what we want or don’t want. Collectively, our back is completely against the wall.
“Basically, we’re hurtling towards a global climate disaster.
"We have a collective action problem: the house is on fire, and we have to do whatever it takes.
“Do people get that? Unfortunately, they don’t.”
He says any conversation about climate change - even over the past 24 hours - is "hijacked" by vested interests "lining up" to protect their own sectors.
He observed: “No sector in Ireland is more vulnerable to climate impacts than the agricultural sector, [due to the risk of] extreme weather - flooding and drought in particular.
“If you look on the agricultural organisations' websites to find out what they’re telling their members about the climate emergency and science… the answer is absolutely nothing.
"They’re so busy lobbying for inaction that they’ve forgotten to actually engage with the science."
John also argued it's ‘simply wrong’ for politicians to suggest everything that's needed can be achieved without changes in sectors such as agriculture.
He said: “I know it’s not palatable for some politicians to tell us the truth about this, but we really need to do better.
“If we don’t put this fire out, then all the other things we care about… they’re all basically gone.”