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16th April 2020 | Coronavirus, Press Releases

Greens welcome Irish Government sign-up to European Green Recovery

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Green Party MEP’s Ciarán Cuffe and Grace O’Sullivan have welcomed confirmation that Minister for Climate Action, Richard Bruton TD, has joined with European counterparts in calling for a green recovery plan for the European Union.

With news released today around a leak of the European Commission’s work programme, with indications of a row-back or delays in some of the areas committed to in the European Green Deal, the MEPs are seeking assurances that Ireland will now act to secure the agenda of the European Green Deal in Brussels.

12 EU Environment Ministers have aligned in calling for the European Green Deal to be the central tenet of the post Covid-19 recovery. In response to a letter sent by the Green MEPs, Minister Bruton has confirmed that Ireland will join with Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden in pushing for a sustainable and just recovery.

Green MEP for Dublin, Ciarán Cuffe said: “Myself and my colleague in the European Parliament, Grace O’Sullivan, wrote to the Minister yesterday expressing our concern that Ireland had not joined with 12 other European colleagues in committing to a green post Covid-19 recovery for Europe. We are delighted to receive word from the Minister this morning confirming that Ireland will sign the declaration placing the Green Deal at the heart of the EU’s post-pandemic recovery plan. 

“However, in light of the leaked information coming from the Commission around delays to the European Green Deal, we are calling on the government to stand firm in its commitment and work to ensure the Commission do likewise.”

Grace O’Sullivan, MEP for Ireland South said: “The news from Minister Bruton this morning that he fully supports a Green Deal being a central part of a new economic recovery plan, both nationally and at EU level, is most welcome.

“The road to recovery from the Covid-19 crisis will not be an easy one. But the best way to ensure that we come out of this crisis on a stronger footing is to implement a recovery plan immediately, rooted firmly in the principles of the European Green Deal. Any delays, particularly in relation to biodiversity and food supply issues, will leave us even more vulnerable to the worst impacts of the climate and biodiversity crisis. It is crucial that we make the correct decisions now and the Green Deal provides the roadmap for a resilient, carbon neutral Europe.”