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Sean McCabe

Candidate for Meath East

My vision for Meath East

Together, we can build a future that offers hope of a safe future for our children while creating stronger communities and plenty of opportunities in the process. We know we must act urgently on climate breakdown and biodiversity collapse. But this action must also be thoughtfully planned because not everything that is good for the planet is good for people.

In the fight against climate change and biodiversity loss, we must focus on justice and equality so that in protecting future generations, we also improve the standard of living for people in Ireland today. A just transition to a safe future will tackle social and economic inequality; create secure and dignified jobs; eradicate poverty; ambitiously expand and enhance our public transport system nationwide; end rural isolation; and ensure that everyone in Ireland can live full and healthy lives underpinned by dignity and rights.

Local communities must be empowered to lead this transition, decisions should be taken locally, and government should put resources at the disposal of communities so that they can address local needs and priorities. By releasing the power of community on the challenges we face, we will build a brighter future and reap the benefits of transformation.

What I stand for

As we undertake the great transition necessary to fight climate breakdown and biodiversity collapse, I want to make sure that people’s livelihoods are protected and communities are allowed to thrive. I stand for local social, environmental and economic development that allows people to meet their needs while also ensuring that future generations inherit a healthy and prosperous world.

My priorities

  • Climate Justice: Unaffordable rents, long commutes, low paid and precarious work, inadequate public transport and expensive public services are local symptoms of the same ideology that is driving the climate and environmental crisis. We must make sure that in addressing climate change and rapidly decreasing emissions, we create opportunities for better work, community development and a better standard of living for people across Meath and across Ireland.
  • Strong Public Services: We must abandon the ideology that the private sector is an efficient means of delivering basic services. It is neither socially nor environmentally efficient. We need to ensure high-quality public transport, affordable childcare and public insurance in health, motor insurance and liability to offer people real alternatives.
  • Community-led local development: Between all of us, we have the knowledge and experience to change our country for the better. Communities must be partners in the transformation of Irish society necessary. By listening to, and learning from, local knowledge, we can design solutions that work for all. Communities must be empowered as change-makers, supported to build local wealth through community-owned businesses and cooperatives. They must be provided with the services and resources they need to thrive.
  • A new vision for farming: Farmers are the custodians of our land and the production of healthy, high-quality food is one of the most important jobs on earth. We are currently failing our farmers by allowing big business to determine what they get paid for their product. We must ensure that our response to the climate crisis improves farmers options and protects their livelihoods. We need a new vision for farming –  where farmers get paid a fair price for their work, where emissions are reduced and where we produce the food we need locally.

My experience

I work with the Think-tank for Action on Social Change (TASC), an independent think tank focused on addressing inequality and sustaining democracy. I have been developing a Just Transition Centre within TASC, to work on developing climate solutions that protect people’s livelihoods and empower rural communities.

Prior to joining TASC, I worked with the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice for five years. During this time, I worked on international negotiations to ensure climate justice informed the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. I also led the Foundation’s work on intergenerational equity.

I spent five years working in the private sector, as a catastrophe risk analyst with Renaissance Reinsurance. I also spent 2 years working in a hospice in Kolkata, India, and worked with the Environmental Protection Agency in Sierra Leone building the agencies capacity in Geographic Information Systems.

I am a scientist. I hold a B.Sc in Applied Physics from Dublin City University and an M.Sc. in Development Practice awarded by Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin.