Green Party leader Eamon Ryan believes that his party’s manifesto on Green issues and climate change policies fits well with the priorities of voters in Dublin.
Speaking exclusively to Dublin Gazette Group Editor Cóilín Duffy, Ryan says that he doesn’t believe that it is harder to drive the Green agenda in the capital city.
“We’ll see on election day, because our slogan is if you want Green vote Green!,” he said.
“What we are presenting is our vision for the future. I think it’s as relevant in the centre of Dublin, as it is anywhere in the country.”
He added, “It’s about the same basic. You make it easier to do the right thing in how we move around and how we manage our homes. In how we deal with waste – in how we look after nature – including in our own city.
“Nature isn’t just something out in the far distant world – it’s Dublin Bay; it’s the Dublin hills; it’s every park. I think our vision is as relevant in Dublin as it is for the people in any part of the country, and, indeed in any part of the World.
“This transition is so significant. It involves everyone and every place matters, including every community in Dublin.”
Waste charges are always a hot topic of debate, and across the capital private operators are constantly proposing an increase in charges.
Ryan says that it’s perhaps time to go back to the old model, where the local councils looked after waste collection themselves.
“I think the broad market model that everyone bought into for the last 20 or 30 years isn’t delivering,” he said.
“I think there is a widespread public consensus or political consensus that, such as in certain key areas like housing, waste and water we need public enterprise. You need public services delivered by public companies.
“I think that’s one of the key things in this election. The past 10 years have been the status quo, really, trying to just get back our economy, but now the next 10 years are what we are voting on here.
“I think voting Green is for a different way of doing things and the public service will have a bigger role.
“It’s not saying there isn’t a role for business; it’s not saying there isn’t a role for enterprise, but there are certain public services that are best delivered by public companies– housing being one, water obviously another, and I think waste is another.”
Looking at the broader picture of taking responsibility in combating climate change, Ryan says it’s important to continue to build on the good relationships with other countries in this regard.
“The Paris Climate Agreement sets the broader picture. That’s every country having to contribute. Locally for us it’s as a member of the European Union that we collaboratively work together with our other European colleagues.
“We can’t do it on our own, but we can’t opt out either. We have to play our part, because it’s better to be a leader rather than a laggered on this because this is where the new economy is going.
“This is something we can and will be good at.”
Housing is also a key issue in this election, and Ryan outlines what he believes is a potential solution.
“The key thing is supply and what type of supply. I think that should be cost-rental housing. It’s the type of housing that would most acutely address the crisis which is in the rental sector.
“I think it would change our whole concept and perception of public housing and that’s why I support it.”