Climate and Environment must remain key EU priorities – Environmental Pillar urges Taoiseach

The Environmental Pillar, Ireland’s environmental NGO advocacy coalition, is calling on the Taoiseach to ensure that climate action and the environment are maintained as key priorities for the EU when he meets with his counterparts at the Brussels informal Council Meeting today.

Following a leak suggesting that the core priority of creating a climate-neutral, green, fair and social Europe is removed from the EU’s new Strategic Agenda, the coalition is urgently calling on the Taoiseach to use his influence together with other progressive nations to accelerate a green and just transition across Europe.

Ahead of the meeting, the Environmental Pillar has written to the Taoiseach urging him and the Irish Government to put their support behind a number of key priorities:

  • Radically increase public climate, environment and social investments, while aligning all public and private investments with the objectives of the green transition. It must ensure big polluters are fully held accountable, including in support of partner countries in line with the EU’s global responsibility.
  • Accelerate the implementation of the European Green Deal and address the ambition gaps on both nature and climate as well as pollution by further establishing robust legally binding targets and new ambitious protection standards based on the latest science available. Only with continued efforts can Europe safeguard our health, nature, safety and economy, and recognise the crucial links between them.
  • Strengthen EU governance, democracy and the effective participation of civil society. The role of citizens at national and EU levels needs to be strengthened, equal access to decision-makers as well as justice across Europe needs to be ensured.

Karen Ciesielski, Coordinator, Environmental Pillar said: “We are deeply concerned by reports suggesting that the core priority of creating a climate-neutral, green, fair and social Europe is removed from the new Strategic Agenda. While we understand the importance of creating a strong, prosperous and democratic union, this simply cannot be achieved if we do not address the climate and biodiversity emergency now.

“The choices made over the next months will have profound consequences for decades to come. Europe’s failure to deliver on international commitments under the Paris Agreement and the UN’s Global Biodiversity Framework in particular, would threaten the EUs global standing as well as international efforts to address climate breakdown and ecosystem collapse.”


Notes to the editor: The full letter can be accessed here: