One Future Press Release
For Immediate Release March 3rd 2020
Faster and fairer climate action must be central to negotiations on Government formation, according to the One Future Campaign
Next Government will have to act urgently and decisively to reduce emissions
The One Future Campaign has today (Tuesday 3 March) formally written to all party leaders urging them to ensure climate action is central to the ongoing negotiations on government formation. The leaders of five political parties – Sinn Fein, the Green Party, Labour, the Social Democrats and Solidarity-People Before Profit – signed the One Future pledge for Faster and Fairer Climate Action before the election.
Oisín Coghlan, a spokesperson for the One Future Campaign said:
“We need to see the pledges party leaders made on climate feature now as they get serious about negotiating the next programme for government.
“Five leaders committed to climate action that would reduce polluting emissions by 8% a year over the lifetime of the next government. That’s the least the UN says we have to do from now to 2030.
“Now we need to see policy commitments that would deliver faster and fairer climate action. The One Future policy platform - endorsed by a wide range of civil society organizations, from the National Women’s Council, to the association of overseas aid agencies to the Union of Students - would put us on the right path”.
In their letter, One Future reiterated their nine election policy priorities which focused on accelerating a transition to a more sustainable society in a manner that ensures social equality and fairness. These include:
- Delivery of annual reductions in greenhouse gas emissions of at least 8% a year over the lifetime of the next Government, including strengthened climate legislation and a national net zero target for the whole economy into law.
- Substantial government investment in public transport ensuring affordability and accessibility for all.
- Delivery of a nationwide deep retrofit programme to reduce energy use and improve energy efficiency, commencing with local authority housing.
- Ending the use of peat and coal by 2021 and ensuring fair treatment and a just transition for affected workers and their communities.
- Support for communities to develop and own renewable energy projects
- Ending support for any new fossil fuel exploration and infrastructure.
- Increasing Ireland’s contribution to international climate finance and prioritising public finance for adaptation in the poorest countries.
- Alignment of agriculture and land-use policies with Ireland’s obligations under the Paris Agreement.
- Establishment of a Citizens’ Assembly on nature loss before mid-2020, proper resourcing of the National Parks and Wildlife Service, and protection of Ireland’s habitats.
The One Future alliance, which was launched before the 2020 General Election, is made up of a broad cross-section of civil society organisations which have come together calling for faster and fairer climate action in the next Programme for Government. Member organisations include the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition, the Sustainable Water Network (SWAN), Fridays for Future Ireland, the Environmental Pillar, the National Women’s Council, and the Union of Students in Ireland. During the election, the alliance hosted a nationwide campaign that mobilised citizens to challenge election candidates to commit to more ambitious climate action.
Sadhbh O’Neill, policy advisor for the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition added,
“This decade is the critical, decisive decade for our future and the future of the planet. Ireland is already far behind on where it needs to be to contribute our fair share of the global effort to avert climate breakdown. Despite all the plans and promises, we’re still not reducing emissions in line with the Paris Agreement. We’re already missing out on the social and economic benefits of a transition to a cleaner and fairer society. The next Government must act urgently and decisively to put Ireland back on track.”
“During the election campaign, the leaders of five political parties pledged to support the campaign’s proposals to achieve faster and fairer climate action. It’s essential now that we see this support translated into meaningful commitments and decisive policy measures in the next Programme for Government”.
The calls come as EU officials, including Ireland’s outgoing Minister for Climate Action, Richard Bruton, will meet in Brussels on March 5th to discuss the European Green Deal, which includes the proposal to increase the EU’s contribution to global efforts to tackling climate change ahead of the deadline at this year’s UN Climate Conference, COP26 in Glasgow.
One Future is The People’s Campaign for Faster and Fairer Climate Action by Government to deliver the positive transformation we need this decade to prevent climate breakdown. The campaign highlights the necessity for State investment in energy, transport, housing, food and economic systems that have zero climate impact. As well as reducing emissions, these investments will improve public services and promote greater equality and social justice. Then Ireland can use this country’s influence internationally, to become a powerful voice for faster and fairer global climate action.
A more detailed briefing document is available here, with background information on the One Future policy “asks”.