Greens: Citizens’ Assembly can help start a new National Dialogue on Climate Change

23rd August 2017

Ryan: “If Leo Varadkar wants to put Ireland at the centre of the world, climate action is the way to do it.”

The Green Party said today that the Citizens’ Assembly can help to start a new national dialogue on climate change, and bring communities and the State together in taking necessary climate action. 

In their submission to the Citizens’ Assembly’s deliberations on ‘How the State can make Ireland a leader in tackling climate change’, published today, the Green Party say that addressing climate change will insulate Ireland from international economic shocks, create a fairer society, and protect Ireland’s natural environment.

Speaking today, Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan TD said: “Our Government has so far failed to show real climate ambition. Their policy has been to look for a way out of international obligations rather than seeing this as an economic opportunity that will allow us hold our heads up high.

“Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he wants to make Ireland ‘an island at the centre of the world.’ If we want to adopt such a role, then progressive leadership on climate change is the best way to go. A new low carbon economy is starting to take hold across the world. Why would Ireland, the country that missed out so badly at the start of the first industrial revolution, decide to opt out of what is happening this time around?

“Ireland is not rich in the materials that drove the fossil fuel economy, but we have the right resources for a new green economy. We've renewable power and water supplies in abundance. We've a great growing climate and a smart and flexible workforce. Tackling climate change can help us build secure local industries as we manage these natural resources.  We can allow use this time of change to tackle the inequalities that exist in Irish society.  It can be a win win-win transition.”

"We need a national dialogue so this switch is led by local communities as well as the State. The Green Party proposed the motion which put climate issue on the Citizens’ Assembly agenda and members of the assembly decided to give it greater priority and extra time. Their deliberations need to be the start of a new national dialogue which will help define Ireland as a sustainable country in everything we do. This is the defining issue of our time.”

The Green Party submission to the Citizens’ Assembly can be found here.