Students from Scoil Chríost Rí Portlaoise demand change on climate action day in 2019. Picture: Denis Byrne
The climate action campaign group One Future wants Laois and Offaly to canvass and vote for climate action ahead of the upcoming General Election.
The campaign group say their approach is designed to turn the tables on politicians, with voters canvassing candidates on nine essential steps for climate action. One Future says this enables voters to challenge election candidates on the doorstep about their climate action plans.
One Future says the outgoing Government plan is to reduce climate pollution by 2 per cent a year, even though the United Nations says the global average reduction in emissions must be 7.6 per cent, each year, from now until 2030 to avoid climate catastrophe.
One Future will be providing colourful ‘Ask Cards’ and canvass equipment to people in Laois and Offaly which can handed to candidates with key policy asks, and window stickers to tell canvassers they support faster and fairer climate action, all of which are available to order for free from www.onefuture.ie.
The campaign is also supporting people who want to go door-to-door to distribute campaign materials and encourage their neighbours to raise climate issues with candidates who call to their home.
The campaign has nine key policy ‘asks’ of soon-to-be elected TDs and Senators, which focus on accelerating a transition to a sustainable society in a way that ensures no-one is left behind. The key policy asks for the incoming Oireachtas include:
1 Reduce Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 8 per cent every year;
2 Support the rural economy as farms reduce emissions and become more sustainable;
3 Ban new fossil fuel projects;
4 End peat and coal burning for electricity and ensure fair treatment of workers;
5 Deliver an ambitious State-backed home insulation programme;
6 Advocate internationally for faster and fairer climate action and justice;
7 Restore and protect nature and wildlife;
8 Ensure affordable and accessible public transport for all;
9 Enable and support community-owned renewable energy projects.
Oisin Coghlan is a spokesperson for One Future.
“One Future is a people’s campaign to turn the tables on election candidates. We want to empower people in Laois, and across Ireland, to challenge politicians to commit to faster and fairer climate action.
“Recent studies show that 89 per cent Irish adults say we need to take action now on environment, while 60 per cent of adults say prioritising climate action is very important. With One Future, we want to highlight how great a priority climate action is for the electorate, to election candidates.
“Every party is paying lip service to climate action in this election. One Future will help people test whether politicians are promising to do enough and whether they are promising to make sure what they do is fair.
“Climate action is not a trade off with better public services. Climate action is about better public services. It is not a trade off with job creation and economic opportunity; it is about job creation and economic opportunity.
“It will require serious Government investment to transform our transport, housing and energy systems, especially in public transport, social housing and community energy. It will bring immediate in the shape of warmer homes, better bus, train, cycling and walking infrastructure, and opportunities to share in the ownership of the energy system that will power our future.
“We’re looking forward to the run up to 8th February making #ClimateVote2020 the talking point of the general election.”
Supporters of the campaign include Concern Worldwide, Christian Aid, The Union of Students in Ireland and Oxfam.
The campaign wants organisations and individuals from across Laois, to get in touch via www.onefuture.ie