Ireland’s leading environmental coalitions have called on all parties entering discussions to form the next Government to put biodiversity and climate breakdown front and centre in the next Dail.
Writing to party leaders, the Irish Environmental Network and the Environmental Pillar have called on them to ensure that the next Programme for Government follows its five-point plan to bring both our natural world and the Irish people into the dawn of a zero-carbon world:
1. Ramped up funding for environmental NGOs working to protect our natural world 
2. Creation of a unified biodiversity and climate Department under one cabinet Minister 
3. Citizens’ Assembly session on Biodiversity Loss 
4. Faster and Fairer Climate Action to ensure annual emissions reductions of at least eight per cent a year over the lifetime of the next Government 
5. Kick-start a circular economy revolution in line with the European Green Deal 
Our letter builds on the Pillar’s 10-point election manifesto and is available here: httpss://tinyurl.com/vrh6bms
The Coordinator of the Environmental Pillar, Karen Ciesielski, said:
“A key test for all the parties vying to enter Government is will they commit to protecting biodiversity and turning the tide on climate inaction. For too long, we have taken small strides when we need a giant leap forward in this critical time for the natural world and our own survival.
“Tackling biodiversity protection and climate action are key to ensuring a just transition for both our natural world and the Irish people into the new dawn of a zero-carbon world, and need to be battled in tandem.
“Now is the time for politicians to step up and commit to decisive action to halt the biodiversity and climate crisis. We don’t have another five years to wait for action. We hope our political parties feel the same way.
“There is no trade off with better public services, job creation and economic opportunity here. The dawning of a Green New Deal for Ireland is all improving the public service, creating new green jobs and creating new economic opportunities in the green and circular economy of the future.
“The next 10 years are absolutely critical in addressing the climate and biodiversity emergency. It is therefore essential that the next Government prioritises the environment and responds with the urgency and swift actions that are required.”