The declaration last night was a historic achievement for the Green Movement in Ireland. However, it will mean nothing if it is seen as just ‘gesture politics’. The government has an atrocious record on climate so they now need to take immediate action and implement the core recommendations contained in the Oireachtas Climate report.
The Green Party are calling on the Taoiseach to convene an emergency cabinet meeting to approve the following measures:
1. Stop drilling for fossil fuels and end peat extraction – do this by approving the Climate Emergency Measures Bill and developing a National Land Use Plan.
2. Support sustainable transport: walking, cycling and public transport – Amend the National Development Plan to approve transport spending 2 to 1 in favour of public transport over new roads and spend 20% of the transport budget on walking and cycling.
3. Ban single use plastic and start a deposit and return scheme for bottles – do this approve the Waste Reduction Bill and start tacking plastic pollution which is having such a damaging environmental impact.
“Our main political parties have an appalling track record on climate action both here and in Brussels. It is a national disgrace. Now is the moment to turn that around. Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin are guilty of ‘all talk and no action’ on the environment. This needs to change. We need the Taoiseach call an emergency meeting of cabinet and to push through the key measures that are already before the Dáil and start to preparing for proper investment in nature protection and retrofitting.”
“We need to end this ‘gesture politics’ where political parties are talking constantly about climate change but when it comes do doing something in the Dáil they don’t show up. This declaration is an opportunity to turn things around, but we need action. We can turn Ireland from being a laggard on climate action to being a leader.
“In addition to the measures above we also need to see the speedy implementation of the recommendations of the Climate Action Committee report.”
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