The Greens in government must make a difference

June 15, 2007 at 11:58 am | Posted in Statements | Leave a comment

The entry of the Green Party into government provides an opportunity to inject fresh thinking into the heart of government. I hope that that opportunity can be realized. It is important that environmental and sustainability questions are not seen as marginal matters. Instead, ecological and social sustainability must be recognized as key economic questions.

The ‘business as usual’ approach is simply no longer viable in the medium-term because of the need to confront peak oil and climate change. The rationale for a radical re-orientation of our economy is outlined in many recent reports such as that of Sir Nicholas Stern in the UK who makes it clear that ‘tackling climate change is the pro-growth strategy for the long-term.’ 

In short, the move to sustainability offers the only way to sustain competitiveness, economic growth and quality of life. This objective must be placed at the centre of government policy. 

Finally, the appointment of Eamon Ryan as Minister of Energy and Natural Resources presents an ideal opportunity for a fresh and positive outlook to be taken to the Corrib gas conflict. This conflict has gone on for far too long and urgently requires political leadership to resolve it. I hope that Eamon Ryan, who is familiar with the detail of the issue and has a track record of involvement in it, will prioritise the Corrib Gas conflict for immediate attention.

  

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