Greens to hold climate and nature coalition talks

Source: Greennews.ie

February 17th, 2020

The Green Party has
invited other parties to present their strategy for addressing the climate and
biodiversity crisis as coalition talks continue to take place. 

Members from Sinn
Fein, Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Social Democrats have received the Green
Party’s request to meet on the 21st and 29th February for discussions. 

In addition to the
climate crisis, the Green Party will also ask those in attendance about how
housing, healthcare, and Brexit will be tackled if their party is in power.

The Greens said they
would also be “open to further meetings with other parties” who would be
interested in “discussions around Government formation”. 

Green Party leader
Eamon Ryan acknowledged that there was a “broad agreement” among a variety of
parties on the importance of addressing housing, health care and the climate
crisis but that specific policy proposals on how to do so were yet to be
hammered out. 

“We hope the approach
will make sure any future negotiations on Government formation is based on
proper policy analysis,” Mr Ryan said.  “We are doing what we said on the
election campaign, talking to each party equally, respecting their mandate but
insisting that any new Government has to be fully clear on how we meet the big
challenges we face.”

The announcement comes
a week after Mr
Ryan reported having “positive” discussions with Sinn Fein, Fianna Fail and
Fine Gael who he said were all willing to engage with his party’s eco-friendly
mandate. 

With a quadrupling of their seats in the election, the party has now gained speaking rights and will have a much greater influence in the formation of the next Government. 

Cllr Neasa Hourigan Photo: Niall Sargent

“Lacking in ambition” 

While not ruling out
the prospect of coalition, the Green Party has
said
that major parties currently lack ambition
on climate action. 

Newly-elected Dublin
Central TD Neasa Hourigan said just week that Fine Gael’s manifesto was
“totally lacking in ambition” and doesn’t go anywhere near enough the levels
required to reduce emissions in line with necessary targets. 

Ms Hourigan also noted
that while Fianna Fail’s manifesto proposed an eight per cent per annum
emission reduction, it did not have a concrete explanation on how to get
there. 

Dublin West TD Roderic
O’Gorman said that Sinn Fein’s manifesto does not meet the scale of the climate
crisis, and highlighted that the document commits to climate policy that has
already been achieved, such as state fossil fuel divestment and a ban on
fracking. 

In their own
manifesto, the Greens are calling for a seven per cent emission reduction,
which is considerably higher than the 2 per cent per annum reduction outlined
in the Climate Action Plan. 

The Greens also aim to hit net zero carbon emissions by 2040, a full decade ahead of most other parties’ targets, although People Before Profit outlined plans in their manifesto to reach this target close to the end of the decade.

About the Author

Kayle Crosson

Kayle is a multimedia journalist focused on climate and environmental issues and contributes to The Irish Times and The Green News.

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