Green coalition demands 'doable' for Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael
Green Party demands including red-line 7% annual cut to carbon emissions ‘all doable’
Green Party’s Eamon Ryan with Malcolm Noonan (left) and Roderic O’Gorman: demands include earmarking 20 per cent of transport spending on cycling and walking. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins
Senior figures in Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil believe they can progress to negotiations on a coalition government with the Green Party on the basis of the party’s 17 demands, published on Thursday.
The Greens confirmed that a challenging commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 7 per cent every year was the primary “red line” in its list of 17 demands to Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.
While Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil politely welcomed the Greens’ document and said they would study its contents before replying, senior figures in both parties who spoke on condition of anonymity believe they can now move towards forming a coalition.
“They are all doable,” said one senior source of the Greens’ demands, though both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil sources said the requirement to reduce carbon emissions by 7 per cent annually would be hard to implement. However, both parties said they would engage to see how it could be done, and were open to far-reaching reforms.
Sources in both parties interpreted the document as a sign the Greens’ reluctance to enter government was being overcome, though it is clear there is still internal division within the party.
“If they didn’t want to do a deal they would have put an impossible requirement in,” said one senior Fine Gael figure. “There’s nothing impossible in this.”
The Greens responded to the policy framework agreed by the two larger parties last week with a document seeking clarification on 17 key issues. The party leader, Eamon Ryan, said the nature of the response from the two larger parties would determine if the Greens would agree to enter government formation talks.
The demands also include a commitment to earmark 20 per cent of transport spending on cycling and walking, and a two-thirds to one-third ratio of spending on public transport over roads.
It has also called for the ending of direct provision, the exploration of a universal basic income for everybody in societyand the halting of controversial fossil fuel infrastructure, including the planned liquid natural gas (LNG) plant earmarked for the Shannon Estuary area.