Environmental Pillar urges candidates to sign the Environment Pledge for Ireland

Published by Dave Brooks on

February 15th, 2016

With 11 days remaining until the general election, the Environmental Pillar, an Irish environmental advocacy coalition, has called for candidates to make a pledge to put environmental considerations at the heart of their policies and decisions if they are elected to government. The pledge consists of four key commitments that are central to building a sustainable future and protecting the environment: creating truly sustainable jobs, ending environmental destruction, supporting the protection of the environment, and making Ireland future-proof.

The first commitment within the pledge, which has already been signed by some candidates, stipulates that all job creation be assessed for its ecological impact. This is an economic, as well as an environmental consideration, since many jobs that compromise the ecosystem services provided by a healthy environment can be considered a loss to the economy. Specifically in relation to environmentally sustainable employment, the pledge seeks the development of jobs that contribute to a circular economy, low-emissions agriculture and a forestry industry that does not undermine ecosystem health.

The second commitment, which is framed as a legacy issue, is to stop destroying nature. This commitment points to rectifying the poor condition of many of Ireland’s Natura 2000 sites, marine habitats, and the damage that could be done to some ground-nesting and hedgerow species of birds under proposed changes to the Wildlife Act

Reversing the trend of under-funding the environmental-NGO sector, the National Parks and Wildlife Service, and the Heritage council is the third commitment, which would see those agencies responsible for speaking up for the environment better able to perform their roles.

The future proofing of Ireland, in terms of developing sustainable infrastructure and ensuring that we reduce emissions at the rate necessary to avoid dangerous climate change, is the final commitment in the environment pledge. The full fourth section can be seen below.

Environment Pledge - section

This call to increase the consideration given to the environment in the political realm comes just one week after the Welsh National Assembly passed a bill to place the environment and the sustainable management of resources at the center of all future legislation.

The initiative will be formally launched this Thursday, 18th of February, at 11 O’ Clock in Buswell’s hotel. Members of a number of Irish environmental NGO’s and some candidates who have signed the pledge will be in attendance. It is hoped that more candidates will take this pledge before the polls open next Friday, after which some will take up positions that enable them to make decisions of crucial importance to our health, environment and futures.

[x_button shape=”square” size=”regular” float=”none” href=”http://environmentpledge.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/The-Environment-Pledge-For-Ireland-2.pdf” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover”]Click here to read the Environment Pledge[/x_button]

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Dave Brooks

Dave works as Communication Assistant with the Environmental Pillar. His background is in psychology and he has a masters in Environmental Psychology from the University of Surrey.