'This election is make or break for the Green Party'
In an ideal world, every political party would be “green” and consider the long term sustainability of our environment and natural resources in their policies, but that’s not reality. Despite evidence to the contrary, environmental regulations are perceived as an obstacle to economic growth and improvements to our natural environment are usually only made in times of prosperity.
The past five years provide ample evidence for a lack of green-thinking during an economic recession. With the country in an economic hole, building regulations were relaxed; charges were placed on recycling bins; National Mitigation Plans to address climate change were left to expire four years ago; and funding for climate change awareness came to a halt.
The Paris Climate Agreement in December 2015 marked a historic global turning point, finally placing fossil fuels on the wrong side of history to address climate change. While the Agreement requires Ireland to make a seismic transformation from fossil-fuel based energy and transport to a 100pc renewable energy system within the next three decades, not a whisper of climate, energy, or environment was heard in any of the leaders’ debates, proving again that environment and long-term sustainable planning is not on the radar of our major political parties.