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We need a citizens’ convention to devise a post-carbon country

Post-Carbon Ireland, the initiative launched by a group of academics on February 12, has received replies from all contacted political parties except RENUA Ireland.

Its call for the convening of a Citizens’ Convention for a Post-Carbon Ireland during the lifetime of the 32nd Dáil received the unconditional support of PBP and the Green Party, and partial or equivocal support from Sinn Féin, Fianna Fáil, Labour and Fine Gael.

The Social Democrats’ response made no clear statement on the call. The responses are available in full on www.postcarbonireland.org.

Climate change was raised towards the end of the final leaders’ debate illustrating how the leaders of our main political parties are all unwilling to face the contradictions between agricultural policy and our emission reduction commitments.

However, this most grave challenge for all our societies remained marginal to debates throughout the campaign, something that both surprised and concerned us.

It further underlines the importance of our call for a Citizens’ Convention, to raise public awareness of the issue and to generate political momentum for policies adequate to the immense challenge of reducing Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions on the scale and at the speed necessary to meet our stated aspirations under the Paris Agreement.

We welcome the fact that, at the time of writing, 633 people have signed up to our call and we urge more to do so at petition.postcarbonireland.org.

Dr. Cara Augustenborg (UCD)

Prof. Peadar Kirby (UL)

Prof. Barry McMullin (DCU)

Dr. Eithne O’Connell (DCU)

Prof. John Sweeney (NUIM)

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