Election candidates urged to pledge to a fossil-free future

May 3rd, 2019

An environmental
campaign group has called on candidates in the upcoming local and EU elections
to sign a pledge for a fossil fuel free future for Ireland.

The pledge, launched
by Not Here Not Anywhere and co-sponsored by over a dozen other environmental
groups, outlines five key climate principles for politicians to follow.

These include a
just transition for workers and communities, an end to offshore drilling and
the burning of coal and peat, as well as a pledge to cease any new fossil fuel

is time for us all to be brave, and signing the fossil free pledge is a first
step to climate action for election candidates,” he added.

date, over fifty local election candidates have signed the pledge, as well as ten
MEP candidates, including all three Green Party candidates, as well as Matt
Carthy and Martina Anderson from Sinn Fein.

Daly of Independents4Change, Social democrats Gary Gannon and Independent Walter
Ryan-Purcell have also signed along with Adrienne Wallace and Cyril Brennan of
PBP and Solidarity-PBP respectively.

In terms of local candidates, 27 Solidarity-People before Profit and 14 Green Party candidates have signed the pledge, together with a handful of candidates from other parties.

to The Green News on the matter, Aideen O’Dochartaigh said that the
group was “delighted” to see the level of cross-party support for the
Fossil Free pledge.

Aideen O’Dochartaigh (l) at recent climate talk Photo: Niall Sargent

are looking forward to seeing these candidates showing their support for
important Fossil Free principles like banning offshore drilling and no new
fossil fuel infrastructure when in office”.

MS O’Dochartaigh stated
that fossil fuels are the “number one cause” of
climate change and that taking climate action means “committing to a fossil
free future.”

following these principles, she told The Green News that MEPs can
“vote to redirect European funding away from Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
terminals, including the proposed Shannon LNG terminal”.

election candidates can advocate for a just transition taskforce in areas
affected by the transition from fossil energy, or ensure that local area
development plans stipulate no new fossil fuel infrastructure,” she added.

O’Leidín from Gluaiseacht for Global Justice, which co-sponsors the pledge,
said that politicians are “lagging behind the general population in terms of
climate action”.

The pledge comes
just in time for the Environmental Pillar MEP husting on climate and
biodiversity for Dublin candidates in the Wynn’s Hotel this evening.

The public debate
in front of 150 people will be chaired by Frank McDonald, former Environment
editor at The Irish Times.

Speaking about
the debate, Environmental Pillar coordinator Michael Ewing has said that he
believes it will be a “great opportunity” for Irish citizens to make their
voices heard and inspire a sustainable “new vision for Europe”.

“Citizens are crying out for a vision for the future of Europe that puts climate action, biodiversity protection and environmental justice at the core of the bloc’s policies.”

By Marianne Foody

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