Labour will introduce a radical range of policies to take action on Climate

Labour Trade Unionists
23 January 2020

Today in Cork the Labour Party published its climate action plans.

Speaking at the launch Brendan Howlin said:

“At national and local level Labour is proud to have been to the fore on progressing climate action.  At national level Labour introduced Ireland’s first climate change legislation and it was Labour councillors who pioneered public bike schemes and are pushing for increased investment in cycling and pedestrian facilities in cities and towns.”

“Climate action has to be embedded in every action of the next Government.  We know that time is running out for our planet.  The failure to act is already causing catastrophic impacts on human health, biodiversity, and our marine life.  A relentless focus on climate action at a domestic, European and international level is an absolute moral and economic imperative for Labour for the next five years.”

“Labour has led the way on climate change.  But we have also listened.  We’ve listened to expert scientific advice, we’ve listened to climate critical communities in the developing world, and we’ve listened to the voices of young people – in Ireland and abroad – who are passionately demanding a sustainable future.”

“Climate action demands a whole of Government approach.  Every Department, every policy must contribute to our climate targets.  For instance, our approach involves action across all departments and agencies such as:

  • A legal commitment to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
  • Retrofitting 100,000 homes nationwide per year.
  • Investing in the ESB, Coillte and Bord na Móna so they become engines of new sustainable jobs in clean energy, recycling and land management.

Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Action, Sean Sherlock said:

“Our plans to combat the Climate Crisis will have an impact that won’t penalise people.  Our plans are both ambitious and practical.  They have the capacity to build a better future of our planet and the next generation.”

“The Labour Party is committed to a Just Transition because the alternative is to abandon workers in industries that must become climate-proof.  We have worked extensively with our colleagues in the trade union movement to ensure that our move to a carbon neutral society creates sustainable jobs in all communities and especially in those communities reliant on old technologies.”

“The marches in our cities demanding actual work to mitigate the Climate Crisis demands radical action. Anything else is not worthy.”

“We will ban offshore drilling or any further extraction of fossil fuels on Ireland’s land or waters, with no renewal of existing licences when they expire in the coming years.  We also propose to update legislation that will result in the banning of the importation of fracked gas like proposed for Cork Harbour and Shannon.”

“Community actions tackling energy costs and waste are to the fore in our proposals. As a member of the Climate Action Committee I have seen first hand not only the emissions impact achieved by deep retrofitting and biofuel investment but also In the lower energy costs for families that have been able to engage on the pilot. 

“We will also seek to re-introduce a deposit return scheme for glass and plastic bottles and containers. This is not rocket science and previously operated here.  In many of our European neighbours, new technology allows people scan deposits at bring banks or in supermarkets and immediately provide cash or credit.”

“There are those who will dismiss small measures as meaningless. We must never be afraid to take whatever steps we can to save the world we live in and to try and leave it in a better place for those who come after us. That is our goal in this election.”


Labour’s policy proposals on climate are available here: 


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