I gave my first preference vote to the Green Party in the February general election.
I did this in the hope that the party would win enough seats to form part of the new incoming government and have a material input to the programme for government.
The context here is that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said that the planet has until 2030 to cut our carbon emissions in half if we are to have any hope of limiting the global increases in temperature to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.
We need this to happen if we aspire to have a habitable planet for our children and grandchildren.
A critical backdrop to our situation is that Ireland has an abysmal record on legislating and acting to limit our carbon emissions.
The verbal platitudes of the outgoing Fine Gael-led government have been just that and its MEPs’ voting record in the European Parliament on climate-related issues dismal.
It now transpires that the Green Party are indicating that they will abstain from participating in government formation.
The reasons given are that they would prefer a government of national unity and/or they would prefer a more left-leaning government.
In the words of Greta Thunberg, “our house is on fire”.
We do not have the luxury of time to indulge the Green Party’s wishlists for what sort of government they would prefer to join.
Now is the time to influence this country’s climate agenda.
Abstention from government by the Green Party at this time would be an unforgivable abdication of the mandate they have been given and the responsibility that accompanies this mandate.
- This readers’ opinion will be published in the letters page of the Irish Examiner on April 1, 2020.