ELECTION DIARY Feb 4th: Posters up … the long wait is over

4th February 2016

Over the next 22 days GreenNews will bring you coverage of Ireland’s General Election 2016 in our Election Diary.

We will catch up the parties and cover who stands to deliver when it comes to environmental protection, sustainable development and future proofing the country. On day 1 of the campaign we may have posters up be we are far from having everybody’s stall set out. The only parties giving us anything in the way of a manifesto so far are Renua and the Anti-Austerity Alliance/People Before Profit.

AAA/PBP

The Anti Austerity Alliance/ People Before Profit have prepared a document as a joint platform for the election entitled ‘Common Principles: Radical Alternatives & Real Equality’. The four page document has a substantial section dedicated to the Environment. It outlines how we need to stop the destruction of the environment which ‘is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people every year.’

The left wing grouping then sets out six actions points (with and extra one hidden among them).

  1. Invest in renewable energy resources. Take Ireland’s oil and gas resources into public ownership and ring-fence them to speed a just transition to a green economy. Immediately ban fracking.
  2. Stop all attempts to privatise our forests, instead invest in the expansion under public ownership.
  3. Establish community renewable energy projects on unused Coillte and  other publicly owned land.
  4. Promote a national housing insulation programme to reduce energy consumption.
  5. Reverse the cuts to city bus fleets and cut the fares to encourage people out of their cars.
  6. Promote a rainwater harvesting programme to support conservation of water.

Note the extra ‘Ban Fracking’ point within the first point.

AAAPBP

Renua 

As part of their manifesto document Renua have put together a substantial piece on Climate Change. The key points of it are as follows:

  1. Move our renewable energy strategy away from wind farming that is based on bulldozing communites through pylon’s and windmills, without adequate consultation and consent
  2. Ensure Ireland’s natural resources become the property of the people rather than the State
  3. Oppose unproven methods of energy extraction such as fracking
  4. Develop alternative energy sources such as tidal energy
  5. Significantly reduce Ireland’s dependence on imported energy sources
  6. Grow an aforestation, solar-powered and biomass energy generation strategy

They also support the establishment of a National Soverign Wealth Fund to manage natural resources of the State, similar to Norway.

The manifesto includes sections on forestry, cleantech, waste management and air quality. Pictured below.

In relation to afforestation the document claims that increased planting of trees on marginal land will increase habitats for wildlife. This is not the case and depends heavily on where the planting is occurring and what species of tree are being planted. Some incredible species such as the Hen Harrier could be wiped out by large scale afforestation of the uplands.

Renua 1

Renua 2

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