The Fine Gael Government launches a ‘Green Week’ campaign today. I echo my party leader Eamon Ryan in calling this ‘laughable’.

Despite the environmental conscience that I know many of the people Catherine Byrne TD represents in my area the notion that Fine Gael take environmental issues is absolutely laughable. This campaign is nothing short of greenwashing.

Should we not, as people concerned about the environment welcome any help in this area? Well, yes, if it were really help but as Eamon says: “This Fine Gael Government has utterly failed on environmental issues and tackling climate change. A week long spin campaign won’t change that.”

Since the 2016 General Election, Fine Gael have:

• Opposed legislation from Senator Grace O’Sullivan to ban microbeads and introduce marine protected areas.

• Opposed the Green Party’s Waste Reduction Bill

• Opposed efforts to halt future fossil fuel exploration in Irish territory

• Cut spending on sustainable travel programmes that support cycling and walking

• Been ranked as the second worst country in Europe on efforts to tackle climate change.

• Continued to favour motorway construction and urban sprawl over sustainable planning solutions in the Ireland 2040 plan.

The way forward is for the people to elect many more Green Party Councillors next May, and a few more hard working Green TDS as well if the opportunity comes up in the meantime. I’ll be working hard for both!