Should the government increase environmental regulations on businesses to reduce carbon emissions?statsdiscuss
Green Party’s answer: Yes, and provide more incentives for alternative energy productionThe need to address long-term problems, such as climate change, is an overarching value of the Green Party. We support the enactment of national legislation to respond to climate change and transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy. This will reduce our over-dependence on imported sources of fossil fuel energy. Global events related to extreme weather, such as storms and droughts, could compromise our food security and lead to increased immigration into Ireland by ‘climate refugees’.
By 2050, Ireland’s power, heat and transport systems should no longer rely on fossil fuels and our agricultural system should achieve carbon neutrality. This is technologically possible, and would result in greater employment, energy efficiency, security, an improved economy, and improved public health, in addition to contributing to a healthier climate
We need to establish ambitious but realistic binding national greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for 2030 and aim for 100% decarbonisation of the power system and an 80% overall reduction in national emissions by 2050
The development of a new national planning process encompassing both climate mitigation and adaptation is essential
There should be a requirement for annual reporting on national climate action plans to the Oireachtas
We support the development of local food production systems to decrease reliance on food imports
There should be greater consideration on the asylum status of refugees fleeing environmental disasters in addition to armed conflict
A massive increase in afforestation consisting of native and continuous cover woodlands to help offset our carbon emissions. Only 10% of land in Ireland is under forestry which represents the second lowest proportional percentage of any country in Europe
The systems for the protection of our environment need to be strengthened. We would:
Ensure greater coordination between, environmental regulation and planning control.
Establish a National Environmental Action Plan
Develop an all-island structure for environmental protection and enforcement
Review the levels of fines and range of sanctions available to courts
Allocate additional resources to the EPA, with a particular emphasis on investment in monitoring and enforcement activities
Properly resource the enforcement division of the EPA so that it is able to prosecute serious offences on indictment rather than summarily.
Provide in licensing conditions for the problems created by companies going insolvent
Strengthen the role and membership of the EPA’s Advisory Board to have more expertise and greater input into the agency’s strategy
Establish a forum of appeal for the Integration Pollution Prevention and Control license system
Introduce annual audits of local authority environmental performance and invest in local government environmental enforcement capacity e.g. training, consistent approach to enforcement, minimum inspection criteria and best practice
The Irish Constitution should be amended to recognise the intrinsic worth of the environment, such as the provision in the Ecuadorian Constitution acknowledging that Nature has the right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles
The Green Party supports the proposition that a crime of ecocide be created in international law, as a crime against nature, humanity and future generations, to be defined as ‘the extensive damage to, destruction of or loss of ecosystem(s) of a given territory, whether by human agency or other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants (human and non-human) of that territory has been or will be severely diminished’; and that the proposed crime of ecocide be formally recognised as a Crime against Peace subject to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.’Source
Social Democrats’ political stances on environmental regulation