If you want green policies implemented, vote labour

07 February 2016

Labour has a proven record of standing up for the environment and delivering jobs.

The lesson from the last five years is if you want Green policies to be implemented you have to vote for the Labour Party.

The last Government of the Greens and Fianna Fail failed in four years to pass a climate law. Labour made a climate bill a priority in our Programme for Government and passed it.

We cleaned up the banking crisis that Fianna fail and the Greens left us– and Labour has a plan to protect us from the impact of climate change on our country and way of life.

Five hundred million from the sale of AIB shares will be committed to a €1 billion Green Infrastructure Fund.

In our greatest recession we were able to continue to invest in insulating homes, upgrading our energy infrastructure and improving public transport – these were job-rich investments.

Tackling climate change is also about bringing people with you.

Preaching at people will not tackle climate change.

Our proposal for a new forum for Community Energy Engagement will bring together citizens and stakeholders to find the best way to deliver a fully green economy.

Our record on the environment has created jobs. In 2015 alone 10,000 homes were given upgrades under the Better Energy programme with an investment of nearly €50 million. That benefits small businesses in the heart of our communities.

We have stood up for public transport.

We expanded Dublin Bikes, and rolled out city bike schemes in Galway and Cork; we launched the Leap card, real-time bus displays and continued to invest in buses and rail. The Smarter travel scheme is making an impact from Dungarvan to Westport.

Investment in cycling infrastructure is one of the most job-intensive capital spends there is. Research has shown that every million spent on cycling lanes generates 14.4 jobs compared to 7.4 jobs for road repairs and upgrades.

There are plans for new cycle ways across the country, and we will ensure that our road network is adapted for the thousands of cyclists now commuting to work each day.

But it’s also the day-to-day cycle lanes that we need to urgently upgrade, and ensure junctions are cycle-friendly. We have a €10 million plan to roll out a city cycle way system starting in Dublin.

We retained the cycle to work scheme and we are proposing a cycle to school scheme now for families – cycling is a lifelong habit that we want to encourage all ages to take up.

Labour if re-elected to Government will continue to invest in public transport and create a green economy that generates thousands of jobs.

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