Ryan says new climate action plan to be ‘at a scale beyond compare’

Party leader says Green TDs will back Simon Coveney in Dáil confidence vote

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said his TDs will vote with the Government in a Dáil motion of confidence in Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said his TDs will vote with the Government in a Dáil motion of confidence in Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

 

The forthcoming climate action plan and the carbon budget designed to reduce emissions will propose changes “at a scale beyond compare” the Green Party leader and Minister for Climate Action Eamon Ryan has said.

Mr Ryan was speaking at Airfield House in Dublin where the party is holding its pre-Dáil think-in.

Green Party ministers and officials are preparing for the plans to be unveiled in the coming weeks. They will lay out how the ambitious emissions reduction plans set out in the Climate Action Act, passed by the Dáil earlier this year, will be achieved.

Mr Ryan said the job of the Government was “to make it easy for people to make the change” on reducing their emissions.

Mr Ryan confirmed that Green TDs would vote confidence in Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney in the Dáil on Wednesday, saying that the “real issues” that the public are interested in are the housing crisis and dealing with the climate crisis.

He appealed for local councils to support the Government’s housing plans, and said that the planning system would be reformed to expedite the delivery of new homes.

But the Greens also faced questions about the party executive’s decision not to take action against the Limerick TD Brian Leddin who was a member of a Whatsapp group in which other members posted derogatory comments about a female party councillor in Limerick.

Mr Leddin has apologised for comments he made about the councillor, and for his membership of a group in which people posted abusive comments about her.

The party executive decided to take no further action. When Mr Ryan was questioned on the issue on Monday , a party official intervened to say that he would not be making any comment as the affair was now the subject of a Garda investigation.

Green Party deputy leader Catherine Martin, who has been severely critical of the language used in the Whatsapp group, also said the matter was subject to a Garda investigation.

Mr Ryan said the party would “continue to look at this issue and any other issue as is appropriate. But that’s not what we have to decide here today. What we have to decide her today is how we as a parliamentary party are going to progress our agenda”.

Mr Ryan said that the Greens had worked with the National Women’s Council and groups like Women for Election to bring more women into politics.