This Week in Climate Tech and Politics

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June 24, 2024

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This Week in Climate Tech and Politics

by | Jun 24, 2024 | Sustainability

Contributor

24 Jun, 2024

The bigger picture: Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan steps down ahead of next general election

On Tuesday 18th June, leader of the Green Party, Eamon Ryan announced his resignation, declaring he would not contest the upcoming election.

The news comes after Irish local and EU elections where the Green Party lost both of its MEPs – Ciarán Cuffe and Grace O’Sullivan. Although Ryan noted the recent election saw “bittersweet” results, he insisted this was not the reason for his departure. Instead, Ryan noted that his resignation would allow “a new leader enough time to prepare for the next election – whenever it is”.

In his 13 years as leader, Ryan drew criticism as he pushed for greener policies. For instance, Ryanair’s Michael O’Learyrecently described Ryan as a “dunce” for his stance on the passenger cap at Dublin Airport. His climate agenda also received backlash from Ireland’s rural community, particularly among beef and dairy farmers, the nation’s biggest single emitter of greenhouse gases.

On the other side, Eamon has been singled out as a key figure in pushing Ireland’s net-zero goals. Former Tánaiste Simon Coveney wrote on social media that, “When the political history books are written he’ll be one of the most consequential politicians of his generation”. Former Taoiseach Leo Varadkar also said that Ireland’s shift towards greener policies may never have happened without Eamon Ryan in office.

On the future of the Green Party and the Irish government, Eamon believes that Irish cities and towns are on course for a huge change in transport, due to the significant investment in active and sustainable transport and the two-to-one ratio of spending on public transport.

Since Eamon’s resignation only two Green Party members have stepped forward to contest the election: Roderic O’Gorman, Minister for Integration and Pippa Hackett, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture.

In other Irish news:

To protect indoor areas from increasing heat waves, Belfast-based Peter Dynes, leader of MEER (Mirrors for Earth’s Energy Rebalancing), has created reflected panels, made from a coating with recycled materials, that he says can help reduce internal temperatures by over 6 degrees Celsius.
The EU nature restoration law, passed to rehabilitate at least 20% of European land, will directly impact almost 9% of Irish land.

In other world news:

In a “groundbreaking” legal settlement, Hawaii officialshave been given a 2045 deadline, by a group of youth activists, to fully decarbonise their transportation system, including ground, sea, and inter-island air transport.
As we approach the US elections, a new study by George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication and the Yale Program for Climate Change Communication, found that 64% of registeredfemale voters in the US prefer candidates that support action on global warming, as well as 58% of men.
The European Commission has approved approximately 3.2 billion euros of planned German state aid to build and run a system of hydrogen pipelines known as the Hydrogen Core Network (HCN).

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