Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has called for parties on the left to work together to affect climate action.
The Ireland South MEP was speaking at her Fighting For Climate Action policy seminar on Cork today.
Ms Ní Riada, who worked on the EU Single Use Plastics Directive, was joined by Saoi O’Connor and Darragh Cotter of Fridays For Future, the group that organised the massive protests and school strikes around climate change last month, as well as Darren McAdam O’Connell of the Cork Environmental Forum to discuss possible solutions and strategies for tackling climate change.
The event also saw the launch of the Sinn Féin and GUE/NGL (European United Left/Nordic Green Left) Climate Emergency Manifesto.
“We need to prioritise climate action, and solving the climate crisis requires strong political mobilization from the Left,” she said.
“Climate action needs to be seen as inseparable from social justice.
“The manifesto that Sinn Féin has coordinated with other parties in Europe tries to put forward this message centred on climate justice.
“We have to be able to reduce emission and lift people out of energy poverty at the same time.
“Climate change is a crisis of unregulated capitalism – a system that has allowed big polluters to turn a profit without taking into account the consequences on our planet.
“Protecting the environment depends on having sustainable production lines and shorter supply chains in agriculture and the fishing industry.
“We need to robustly implement existing conservation legislation, further develop decarbonisation strategies that don’t go far enough and set much more ambitious climate targets.
“Equally importantly we must oppose corporate lobbyists who have far too much influence on climate and energy policy.
“We have consistently opposed EU funding being spent on fossil-fuel projects, although sadly the same cannot be said for other Irish MEPs.
“So many in the EU pay lip service to these issues; we see our role in Europe as being to not only sincerely promote these principles, but to enact them in all relevant legislation.”