Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has accused Fine Gael of “brazen hypocrisy” on climate change as the party promoted a climate change conference just 24 hours after voting against vital environmental amendments in the European Parliament.
The Ireland South MEP, who worked on the EU Single Use Plastics Directive with fellow Sinn Féín MEP Lynn Boylan, was speaking after the European Parliament Plenary vote on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).
“I was deeply disappointed but not surprised when Fine Gael MEPs voted against a number of crucial environmental amendments to the EMFF such as the protection and restoration of marine and coastal biodiversity and ecosystems,” she said.
“They even opposed one of my own amendments which called for supports to be made available to compensate fishermen for collecting lost fishing gears and marine litter, in particular plastic. This was a very practical proposal, which could go a long way to help tackling the severe plastics problem we have in our oceans.
“Thankfully it, and several other environmental amendments I and others proposed were passed without their support.
“However, I was appalled to see, just 24 hours after actively voting against crucial environmental measures, that Fine Gael were promoting a ‘Public Meeting on Climate Action’ they are hosting on social media.
“The absolute brazen hypocrisy this displays is galling to say the least and perfectly illustrative of the the culture of doublespeak that exists within Fine Gael.
“Time and time again we have seen them turn up for photos or organise public meetings on issues only to turn around and do the opposite when they have an actual opportunity to affect change.
“Homelessness, housing, health, the environment; these are nothing but buzzwords to Fine Gael, popular slogans to be disposed of once they have secured your vote.
“We have 12 years to tackle climate change before the problem becomes irreversible and the consequences catastrophic. I would suggest Fine Gael join the rest of us in using that time to make actual policy change, rather than voting against it on Thursday and then crying crocodile tears on Friday.”