The Green Party today reminded voters that climate change is the
greatest political challenge of our time and reiterated that a change
of Government is the only way to ensure climate change solutions are
delivered in Ireland. 21 May 2007
Political climate change needed, says Green Party
The Green Party today reminded voters that climate change is the greatest political challenge of our time and reiterated that a change of Government is the only way to ensure climate change solutions are delivered in Ireland. Speaking in Dublin city centre today where the Party unveiled a banner with the words ‘Climate Change – It’s time to act’, Green Party Chairman and Director of Elections John Gormley TD said there was definitely a mood for change out there, despite the findings of latest opinion polls.
"The Green Party is committed to real change and to achieve this, Fianna Fáil and the Progressive Democrats must be removed from Government. We must remove Ministers who are clearly not up to the task of tackling climate change and to do this you must give the Green Party your number one vote. We are the only Party who can deliver on climate change."
Green Party Energy spokesperson Eamon Ryan TD said: "The issue of climate change is top of the agenda at every international summit. The science is now clear; developed economies will have to make radical cuts in their emissions in the next decade to stop the world going past a ‘tipping point’ which would trigger runaway and catastrophic changes. In the lifetime of the next Government we will be faced with much more demanding obligations to cut our greenhouse gas emissions. Buying our way out of the problem is not a sustainable solution. As the Stern Report shows, it makes economic sense to make the necessary changes sooner rather than later.
"With oil prices again close to $70 a barrel and with householders reeling from ever higher gas and electricity bills, the electorate knows that Ireland’s reliance on imported fossil fuels will cost us dearly. A major report to the US Department of Energy has stated that Governments need to prepare for a peak in oil production decades in advance, with major changes to infrastructure investment and planning. The time for such changes in Ireland is now.
"The solutions to both these energy challenges are the same. We need to promote public transport, increase our energy efficiency and introduce new renewable energy supplies. However, none of the other parties have the political will to deliver the necessary changes. It will take a Green Party involvement in Government to get our transport system working right and to push through proper planning and building regulations.
"The absence of any debate on these issues over the last three weeks is a sad reflection on our election contest. We need to go beyond just talking about whether one party or another will make up the numbers, and start discussing what real changes we need to make in the Governing of our country. By voting Green Party number one, a voter is giving a mandate for positive action on these energy issues. If we get enough Green TDs elected then we will be able to implement that mandate in Government."
Green Party Environment Spokesperson Ciarán Cuffe TD said: "Climate Change is one of the defining issues of our time; it is the greatest threat to humanity. If we tackle climate change it can improve the quality of our lives. It can mean more Luas lines in Dublin and elsewhere in Ireland so that people can rely on public transport as they do elsewhere in Europe.
"It will involve improvements in the construction industry so that new homes are warmer and cheaper to heat. It requires proper planning so that people can spend less time on the road in their cars, and safer streets so that children can be safe walking or cycling to school. Tackling the challenge of climate change requires smart thinking and political will. The Green Party is ready to face that challenge.
Green Party Climate Change spokesperson and Candidate for Dublin North-East Cllr. David Healy said: "With the publication of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report there can no longer be any doubt that climate change is a global challenge on a scale never before experienced by humanity.
"The good news is that the measures needed to reduce our emissions are mostly positive and beneficial changes. They will mean a healthier, fairer, happier society, with a higher quality of life.
The difficulty is facing up to the extent of the changes to systems which we are well used to.
It won’t be easy to convert our economy from a fossil fuel-based energy-intensive economy to a leaner, more efficient, clean energy-based economy. But that economy will be stronger and healthier.
It won’t be easy to convert our transport system to one dominated by public transport, walking and cycling. But the new transport system will be friendlier, quieter, cleaner, fairer and healthier.
These are achievable and necessary tasks, tasks which the Green Party in Government, are committed to."
John Gormley TD: 087 275 6135 Ciaran Cuffe TD: 087 265 2075
Eamon Ryan TD: 086 829 4429 Cllr David Healy: 087 617 8852
Nicola Cassidy, Press Office: 01 618 4088 / 087 914 8175