Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has called on Fine Gael to clarify their position on climate change.
The Ireland South MEP was speaking after a series of climate action protests across the country in which numerous members of Fine Gael took part despite their party’s lack of support for climate action initiatives.
“I could not have been more proud of the young people of Ireland who spoke with one voice last week to demand climate action but I was utterly perplexed as I watched Fine Gael representative after Fine Gael representative line up to get photos taken at protests across the country, expressing false solidarity with the striking youth,” she said.
“The reality is that this is nothing but rank hypocrisy from Fine Gael, who, on a European level, consistently endorse money going towards the fossil fuel industry at the expense of our environment.
“Just last week their European Group, the EPP, voted against a series of amendments that would have strengthened the climate resolution compelling the EU to take measures to stop global temperatures raising by the 1.5 degrees, a difference that will mean catastrophe for much of the planet.
“Sinn Féin MEPs have been to the fore in the battle for climate action since our election in 2014.
“Lynn Boylan is our spokesperson on Climate and represented the left in Europe at COP24, the UN Climate summit. For my part, as an MEP on the Fisheries and Marine Committee, I have been a negotiator on files on plastic pollution in our oceans and insisted that manufacturers must be made responsible for the vast amounts of plastic they are producing throughout their lifecycle.
“Unfortunately, much of our work at a European level is hampered by the neo-liberal, right-wing establishment, who do what they can to put the interests of industry before climate action.
“We will continue to push for action and we will make no apologies for calling out the establishment on their empty rhetoric and lip service. They must stop showing up for the photo-ops and begin to step up to the mark so we can tackle this real issues.”