Greens say Government is worst in memory for tackling climate change

Leader Eamon Ryan accuses Taoiseach and Ministers of being more interested in social media than dealing with policy issues.

 Green Party leader Eamon Ryan: “By your actions you should be known and not by your tweets.”   Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan: “By your actions you should be known and not by your tweets.” Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

The Green Party has castigated the Government as the worst in memory at tackling climate change and protecting the environment.

Green leader Eamon Ryan accused Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and his Ministers of being more interested in social media than dealing with policy substance.

“By your actions you should be known and not by your tweets. Their actions as a government has made them the worst government I have ever seen in terms of climate action.”

Mr Ryan was speaking at the opening of his party’s think-in in Naas, Co Kildare, on Friday. He portrayed the Government’s recent “Green Week” as “virtue signalling with no substance behind it”.

“I’m sorry we can’t have the Taoiseach there saying I am more concerned about coffee cups. The legislation, the Waste Reduction Bill, they are blocking by not allowing it to go to committee debate in the Oireachtas.

“On climate change, at the same time they are out on Green Week, spelled W-E-A-K, their own Minister [for Climate Action, Denis Naughten] says the plan they produced a year ago is a failure and they are right.”

He also said he had no confidence in either Minister for Transport Shane Ross or Mr Naughten.

“I am sorry, but we have had enough as cyclists. It’s completely wrong what is allowed at present time, where there are dangerous road conditions and they are doing nothing about it. The budget was cut last year at the same time the number of deaths were increased.

“With Mr Naughten, his department is not doing anything. Electric vehicles are needed. To make it happen we need more charging points. There is no leadership.”

Commuters’ charter

The party launched a commuters’ charter at the meeting, which was presented by the Kildare North candidate Vincent P Martin. It calls for a Dublin Transport Office to improve co-ordination between transport services; more priority for buses on roads; a new requirement where shop and store deliveries would be done in off-peak hours; more carriages for trains; and better park-and-ride parking facilities and incentives.

Mr Martin said: “In Kildare the population has increased by 65 per cent but with no corresponding increase in the quality of transport.”

Deputy leader Catherine Martin, a sister of Mr Martin, said that one of the party’s main aims was to increase its representation in the Dáil, saying the party could win five or six seats in the next general election. Ms Martin and Mr Ryan are the party’s only TDs. “We need only one in 20 to vote Green and we can get up to five to six seats because we are transfer friendly.”