Greens to hold climate and nature coalition talks

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
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.

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