| 18°C Dublin

Climate change will lead to 'mass civil disobedience' - Avengers star Mark Ruffalo tells Green Party webinar


Actor Mark Ruffalo. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire

Actor Mark Ruffalo. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire

Actor Mark Ruffalo. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire

Avengers star Mark Ruffalo has predicted climate change will lead to “mass civil disobedience” similar to the protests organised by the Black Live Matters movement.

Speaking at an online event organised by Green Party leader Eamon Ryan, the Hulk actor drew comparisons between recent protests in the US following the murder of George Floyd and the climate action movement.

“All the energy that you’re seeing coming out of the racism movement in the United States, it’s the same energy that the climate change movement has so it’s all hand in hand,” he said.

“I promise you that in the next coming years there will be action, whether it’s massive civil disobedience or it’s political action, there will be action and it will only continue to grow as people’s lives become more and more endangered and imperilled,” he added.

Mr Ruffalo was speaking after endorsing the programme for government the Green Party negotiated with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

The Hollywood environmental campaigner said the deal agreed between the three parties was a “monumental achievement” as it will lead to a ban on the importation of fracked gas into Ireland.

“I have been advocating for ten years with Americans who have been poisoned by fracking, many who live in the areas that would supply Ireland with fracked gas,” he said.

“I’m thankful that U.S. anti-fracking activists contacted Green Party leaders to support the Programme for Government and that I can lend my support in this critical moment. The result of this decision will impact the health and human rights of many Americans for decades to come,” he added.

Speaking during the online seminar, he said the Greens historic election result was a “comma on a movement” that is “only gaining steam” and “only gaining more and more power every single day,” he added.

Mr Ruffalo said we are already in “grave danger” and we “cannot discount” the impact climate change will have on our lives in the coming years.

He said climate actions taken in the US under President Donald Trump are “more promising” than those taken by his predecessor Barack Obama.

Meanwhile, the deputy leader of the Green Party has called out "the elephant in the room" Leo Varadkar, whose comments on Shannon LNG, she said, have cast doubts over deals made in the programme for government.

Catherine Martin said that comments made last weekend by an Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, however, undermined the deal, which was a critical element of government formation negotiations for her party.

"I have to call out the elephant in the room tonight, which is of course the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar," she said.

"His comments over the weekend have been really unhelpful to this entire process."

Speaking to Fine Gael members in a Facebook Live event on Sunday, Mr Varadkar said that the government will not be helping the Shannon LNG project, but suggested it may still become reality as the private company may still pursue it.

The removal of support for the terminal which would have processed fracked gas he described as "a bitter pill to swallow".

Ms Martin, who was the lead negotiator for the Green Party in government formation and the drafting of the programme for government, admitted that Mr Varadkar's comments made her feel "uneasy" about the commitments made by Fine Gael as part of those negotiations.

"The other two parties we negotiated this deal with were not comfortable with the wording but we sought and got, eventually into the programme for government," she said.

"We fought hard, and we got it there and the three parties to agree this, so unfortunately comments and media appearances by various elected members of these parties over recent days cast doubt over the strength of the agreed wording on the LNG, so it just goes to show there's a resistance there all along the way, even though we have in the program for government.

"To be honest, their comments made me feel uneasy too."

Online Editors