Senator Higgins welcomes government commitment to a green recovery

Alice-Mary with Lucille and other Fridays for Future campaigners in Dun Laoghaire.
Alice-Mary with Lucille and other Fridays for Future campaigners in Dun Laoghaire.

Senator Higgins welcomes Ireland's joining of EU countries calling for an alignment of EU corona virus response and Green New Deal. Over the course of the last week, Senator Higgins and other pressed the government to join with other EU countries in calling for this response. 

Speaking in response to the announcement Senator Alice-Mary Higgins said, "I'm really glad that the Government responded to pressure from me, Grace O'Sullivan and other politicians and activists in civil society for alignment between coronacrisis response and Green Deal in Irish response. The EU and the Irish government urgently needs to deliver a climate-proofed response to coronavirus crisis, aligned with the objectives of the Green New Deal & the Sustainable Development Goals." 

In the weeks and months ahead, the government must be held to account on this commitment and challenged on any policy which would undermine a climate safe-recovery. "The response to this crisis needs to make Ireland and the EU more resilent to the climate crisis. Many of the countries hardest hit by corona virus including Italy and Spain are among the 10 other EU countries recognising and demanding that any recovery is climate proofed and aligned with Green New Deal. There is no acceptable excuse for Ireland not to add our voice to this. We need sustainability, not austerity," concluded Senator Higgins.

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Senator Higgins, Senator Lynn Ruane and others have called on parties in Government formation talks to take concrete steps to address racism in Ireland

We all need to be in solidarity with those taking a stand against racism right now in the United States. We also need to face up to and challenge racism here in Ireland. Myself, Senator Lynn Ruane and Senator Frances Black have sent a letter co-signed by 20 other members of the Oireachtas to the leaders of the three parties currently in Government formation talks calling on them resolutely reject racist policy and rhetoric and commit to real action on inclusion and equality. ... We believe the next programme for government must; * Legislate against Hate Crime * End Direct Provision * Legislate to reverse impact of 27th amendment and stop the deportation of Irish born children * Enact our Traveller Culture and History in Education Bill * Re-establish a National Anti-Racism Body.

It is also vital that those who have sought to exploit inflammatory and racist language for perceived political or electoral advantage are not given any part in government.