Over 150 citizens are set to gauge where EU election candidates stand on key environmental and climate issues at a public debate in Co Dublin this Friday before polling stations open in May.
The sold-out event in the Wynn Hotel in Dublin on Friday, 3 May will see concerned citizens challenge candidates from across the political spectrum to outline their green credentials in advance of the upcoming European Elections.
The event will be streamed live from the Pillar’s Twitter page for those who cannot attend in person from 6.30PM-8PM on Friday: https://twitter.com/Env_Pillar
The event organised by the Environmental Pillar – a coalition of over 30 national environmental organisations – will also provide an opportunity for the candidates to set out their commitments and assurances with regard to protecting Ireland’s fragile environment.
Now, citizens will have the opportunity to directly signal to MEP candidates the ambition that they want to see at a European level, with climate change is set to be a hot topic as Europe needs a radical policy shift to cut emissions by 2050 to avert the worst climate impacts.
Sure to be hot on the attendees’ list of questions are where candidates stand on the future of the carbon tax, the recent school strikes for climate and the Extinction Rebellion moment.
Confirmed candidates include:
MEP Lynn Boylan, Sinn Fein
Deputy Clare Daly, Independents 4 Change
Senator Alice-Mary Higgins, Independent
Councillor Ciaran Cuffe, Green Party
Councillor Éilis Ryan, Workers’ Party
Councillor Gary Gannon, Social Democrats
Alex White, Labour Party
Barry Andrews, Fianna Fáil
Gillian Brien, People Before Profit
Mark Durkan, Fine Gael
Biodiversity decline will also be high on the agenda, with over 90 per cent of habitats in Ireland under pressure. Last year, international experts warned that two-thirds of European habitats now have an unfavourable conservation status.
Clearly, Europe needs a fundamental rethinking in terms of climate and biodiversity protection if the bloc is serious about protecting our future and our citizens will have their say on how our elected officials do so at the hustings later this month.
The event will be moderated by Frank MacDonald, former Environment Editor of The Irish Times.
The Pillar will host a further sold-out public debate with MEP candidates in Cork on 10 May 2019. Link to events here: http://tinyurl.com/y2uunejr
Environmental Pillar coordinator Michael Ewing said:
“We need a fundamental rethink of the kind of Europe we want to really bridge the gap between the EU and what its citizens want in terms of environmental and biodiversity protection.
“This public debate will be an opportunity for MEP candidates to hear the views of as many Irish citizens as possible on the kind of Europe they want that leads on climate action and biodiversity protection.
“Citizens are crying out for a vision for the future of Europe that puts climate action, biodiversity protection and environmental justice at the core of the bloc’s policies.
“I would hope that that the public’s response makes the candidates think long and hard about the kind of elected officials they want to put Ireland at the forefront of progressive environmental policy in Europe.
“This is a great opportunity for Irish citizens to contribute towards charting the way forward to a more progressive and inspiring new vision for Europe and building a sustainable future for the EU.