You may have heard already that our Director, Oisín Coghlan, is standing in the Seanad elections for the Trinity College panel.
Oisin is standing as an independent candidate, independent of any political party and indeed independent of Friends of the Earth. But we're delighted that voters on the TCD panel now have the choice of voting for someone who would put climate action at the top their agenda.
Oisin himself says of his run:
"I've been badgering politicians from the sidelines for years and I thought it was time to put my money were my mouth is. I'm running to push climate action, social justice and global solidarity up the political agenda."
We had real success last year in getting the Government to recognize the role of communities in the transition to a zero-carbon energy system. The new national energy policy, the White Paper, launched in December is very strong on a commitment to energy citizens and communities.
The election is in the closing stretch. The final leaders' debate is tonight. Will they discuss climate change? Probably not, but even if they do it'll be short and superficial at best. The reality, however, is that whoever forms the next Government will find climate change high on the policy agenda because of the Paris Agreement, looming EU targets and competing interest groups at home.
So how much thought have the parties actually given it? Below you can see and read for yourself.
We now have 6 parties who have confirmed they will have a representative there: Fine Gael (Senator Cáit Keane), Sinn Fein (Lynn Boylan MEP), AAA-PBP (Richard Boyd Barrett TD), Green Party (Eamon Ryan). Fianna Fail and Labour have yet to name their representative.
Whenever candidates call to the door over the next three weeks, say you’re concerned about climate change. Tell them now by email.
You can mention the flooding, fracking, or Ireland doing its fair share, on the doorstep if you want but, actually, even just saying you’re concerned means the TDs in the next Dáil will be that bit more likely to listen to us.
With less than 48 hours to go in the United Nations’ climate negotiations, you’d think we’d have some idea of what shape the global agreement on climate might look like, but the Pareto principle seems to apply to COP21: It takes 80% of the effort to complete the last 20%. They’ve whittled down the text considerably but the core messages remain unclear.
In simple terms, the three most contentious issues that have yet to be resolved in the Paris climate agreement are: