June 28th, 2016
Two representatives from the Environmental Pillar spoke at the opening of yesterday’s plenary session of the National Economic Dialogue (NED).
Mindy O’Brien and Cillian Lohan of the environmental advocacy coalition addressed the floor during the first session of the two-day event, which aimed to host an inclusive exchange on the competing economic and social priorities facing the Government in advance of the next Budget.
They spoke about their vision for a resilient circular economy, based on Sustainable Development Goals – which can bring a strong buoyant economy with fairness and benefits for all.
Cillian Lohan, who is also the rapporteur on the Circular Economy Package of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) spoke about reducing and ultimately eliminating the concept of waste from all sectors. He said: “almost all materials can be reused or remanufactured, which is not only beneficial for our environment but also creates jobs and wealth amongst communities in all parts of the country, from cities to rural villages.”
Mindy O’Brien, also of the Environmental Pillar spoke of the importance of incorporating the Sustainable Development Goals into government decision making. She said: “all policies, initiatives and programmes must be put forward with the Sustainable Development Goals uppermost in Irish policy-makers’ minds.” She went on to say: “Ireland can have true sustainable growth by integrating the Sustainable Development Goals, which the Taoiseach recently signed up to in New York, into an economy that prepares for the challenge that climate change brings.”
The NED was attended by the Taoiseach and several government ministers, as well as representatives of the environmental, community, voluntary, unions and business sectors.