Green Light for Green Party’s European Election campaign

The Green Party continued their preparation for both the local and European elections in May at their national conference last weekend at the Galway Bay Hotel.

The main topic for discussion on the opening evening was climate change and reducing carbon emissions. Ireland is currently at the bottom of the scale in terms of EU ratings.

The proposed light rail system for Galway City, often referred to as the G-Luas, has been a hot topic in recent months. With regards to this, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said,Instead of a Park and Ride, maybe build a community on that land and start the light rail there, just because there’s no demand right now does not mean there won’t be in the future. The Danes and others do it, it’s simply creating demand in the right places and it works for them, so why not make it work for us.”

At present, Ireland is in agreement with the EU regarding carbon emissions. This means that by the year 2020 there needs a huge reduction in the current carbon omissions to meet the Kyoto Protocol as part of the EU agreements.

Ryan said,We’re way off target for 2020 and also for 2030. We have no national plan as to when we’ll get there. We have to change away from fossil fuels within 3 decades which is an incredible challenge. This would mean changing entire transport systems, the food system, industry  and the way we use plastics for the future. Changes have got to be implemented right across the board here for the better.”

Ryan says that immediate action must be taken; for example he emphasises the use of compostable wood as an alternative to plastics. This would be the more productive option for the future. Fast food chains for example could start making changes by using the wood instead of relying so heavily on plastics, the main issue with plastic is that “it breaks-down, it doesn’t decompose and this is where the problem is at present. Supermac’s for example could use compostable wood for their cutlery instead of plastic.”

He went on to say these changes will not just lead to a better society but also a sustainable economy at best. In terms of agriculture Ryan suggests that Ireland needs to grow more trees to allow for more air in the long run.

Coillte are the national state body for encouraging forestry growth. Ryan said of Coillte’s model; “They grow them for 30/40 years and then chop them all down, it’s no wonder counties like Leitrim and Roscommon are saying we don’t want to live in dense dark forests, who could blame them.”

The proposed Ring Road, with an estimate cost of 600 million was discussed. Ryan said, “It’sa motorway through the countryside. I think of the people living in Connemara for example, people in Inverin or Carraroe, need a way to get to Galway without having to drive through small roads. Public transport in Galway is unreliable with just one bus lane at 3/4km; I’m flabbergasted at the lack of transport planning here. They are planning a new orbital road in the city centre; it’s doing more harm than good.”

Going forward, Ryan says the Greens are hopeful both locally and in Europe, he went on to say ”we’ve 12 councillors at the moment, we want 25, that’s 24 plus 1, we’ve very good people running, we exist on the back of support of the Irish, we need 1 in 5 to vote for us.”

About Post Author

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.