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Green Party outline 17 demands for entering a coalition with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael

The party wants a reduction in carbon emissions and more spending on cycling.

Image: Leah Farrell

THE GREEN PARTY has called on Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 7% per year, if they are to enter government.

In a response to the policy framework document, the party has made 17 demands of the two larger parties, such as a commitment to end Direct Provision as well as the introduction of a universal basic income.

The party has also sought answers to a number of questions, such as will the next government commit to ending the issue of exploration licences for offshore gas exploration and cease the construction of new fossil fuel infrastructure, particularly LNG import terminals.

The Shannon Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal has come under the spotlight in recent months after criticism of the project intensified over its proposed use of fracked gas. The proposed energy project in Kerry made headlines after pop icon Cher became the latest celebrity to call on the government not to back it.

The Greens also want to see a rebalancing of transport infrastructure spend, dedicating at least 20% of infrastructure expenditure in transport to cycling and walking.

In relation to the 7% emissions target, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said it is fair to say that commitment must be made if his party is to enter into government. 

“It’s what the science says we have to do,” he said, adding that it will be “problematic” to get any deal through Green parliamentary party and members without the 7% reduction target.

Previously asked about the possibility of increasing emissions targets, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said his party is “open” at looking at that, but said if that is proposed, there would need to be clarity on how that can be achieved.

Higher emission reductions to be achieved, there would have to be an agreement on “how it can happen, how it can be achieved and how it can be funded”, said Donohoe.

If one of the smaller parties demanded that, clarity on how it can be economically and socially achievable for the country, said the minister.

The letter to FF and FG stats that supports for businesses that are in difficulty because of the Covid-19 crisis “should not go to polluting industries and should target small and medium Irish enterprises”.

“We should use this period of change to advance the next phase of our economic development which should involve the building of a larger and more sustainable domestic enterprise sector,” states the letter from Ryan.

“We know that strong leadership is required in negotiating the unprecedented health challenge of the present and the consequent economic challenge that will follow in its aftermath.

“The threat of climate change and biodiversity loss requires similar urgent action with the same commitment, cooperation and ambition as any undertaken during the Covid-19 health crisis.

“Notwithstanding our mandate to take our place in a Government, we seek clarity that any potential coalition partners share such an understanding,” the letter concludes.

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