Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael may have failed to commit to the Greens' demand for a 7pc reduction in annual emissions, but they offered plenty of firm commitments on the climate agenda to signal that the next government could be the greenest ever.
The Civil War parties answered 'Yes' to seven of the Greens' 17 questions and offered concessionary, if at times vague, language on the other 10.
The letter from Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin included commitments to invest in major retrofitting and offshore wind farm programmes, and exploring ways to end fossil fuel exploration and direct provision.
In a move that will alarm some Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael TDs, the two party leaders even suggested plans to build a new liquefied natural (fracked) gas terminal in the Shannon estuary may be scrapped.
Their commitment to enact a climate bill within the first 100 days of a new government was welcomed by Stop Climate Chaos, which said it would be a "cornerstone of any adequate plan to cut our polluting emissions".
Incidentally, the Green Party letter to Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael last week made no mention of this legislation. Yet much of the negative reaction from the party's grassroots focused on the failure to commit to the 7pc target, while the party's finance spokesperson Neasa Hourigan was liking and retweeting criticism of the letter on Twitter yesterday.
Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil did not commit to it for one reason: they don't know how the State can effectively double its climate targets over the next decade, while at the same time dealing with the unprecedented economic fallout from the Covid-19 emergency.
Messrs Martin and Varadkar, not unreasonably, told Green Party leader Eamon Ryan: "We would like to understand, and tease out with you through talks, the specific actions that would have to be taken to achieve at least an average 7pc-a-year reduction."
The Greens' parliamentary party entered conclave yesterday to discuss whether to meet the two parties and they will hold more talks today - 82 days on from the General Election.
In their protracted deliberations, they would be wise to set out how they plan to pay for all the ambitious green agenda items they want.
There was scant detail on the cost of many measures in the Greens' election manifesto, and Mr Ryan was worryingly vague on how much a policy to ramp up spending on cycling and walking infrastructure would cost when pressed on RTÉ last week. He suggested it would be either €100m or €200m - but there is a big difference between the two figures.
Outgoing junior minister John Halligan yesterday suggested the green agenda may have to be "pushed aside" in the coming years.
"Our job now will be to protect the jobs we have, create new jobs and protect those that have lost their jobs and if there's a huge cost to what the Greens are looking for, well, if I was in government, I wouldn't accept it," he said.
If the next government is to invest billions in offshore wind farms, retrofitting, solar panels and electric buses, then the Greens will have to explain how this can be done at a time when people will rightly demand their government spend billions to save an economy that has been destroyed by the pandemic.