Leadership on Climate Action
Labour Party Manifesto 2020

Labour believes that meaningful co-ordination and co-operation at EU level is essential so that all member states, including Ireland, can meet our obligations to reduce carbon emissions in time to limit the devastating effects of climate change.

The EU as a whole emitted 4,441 million tonnes of greenhouse gases in 2018. Our collective commitment is to reduce that to net zero by 2050, which is incredibly ambitious, although the EU is making progress in that direction and has been a champion of the Paris Agreement on climate change on the world stage.

Alongside the serious challenges and risks of climate change, there are opportunities too. Europe has the technological capacity to research and develop ways to reduce the extent of climate change, and to achieve a Just Transition where we train our workers to adapt to new, sustainable jobs and new technology in the workplace. Done right, a Social Europe can be a world leader of a Green New Deal for job creation and sustainable economics.

  • Labour representatives both at home and in Europe will be at the forefront of taking serious action on climate
  • The European Union must make fighting climate change for the benefit of future generations one of its main priorities, alongside greater social justice and solidarity
  • Having signed the Paris Agreement on climate change on behalf of Ireland, the Labour Party will demand that the EU’s climate ambition is at the very least in line with the Paris Agreement and the latest science, with the aim of becoming climate-neutral by 2050 at the latest
  • Labour supports the creation of an EU Sustainable Development Pact that promotes strict social and ecological targets alongside economic aims
  • We will get behind EU-level strategies, budgets and performance indicators to drive the implementation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Agenda and Goals by 2030
  • It is incredibly important that children and young people are involved in any kind of Europe-wide consultation on how we can reduce the impact that climate change is having. Labour MEPs will ensure that young people get their say in how we can protect our planet from further damage
  • We will push for agencies, such as the European Investment Bank and the European Central Bank, to be given a greater role to invest in support of meeting the EU’s climate change targets and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals
  • The Labour Party is a strong believer in the need for additional investment in clean energy. That is why we will look for additional EU support and funding for the ambitious development of affordable clean energy, particularly wind and solar power, and the interconnection of national electricity networks
  • Additional support is needed from the European Union to speed up the development of affordable electric vehicles. Working with Labour Councillors, Labour MEPs will push for funding for the necessary infrastructure for electric vehicle charging
  • It is time for Europe to prepare for a Just Transition for workers who will be affected by climate change. Europe needs to take calls for a Green New Deal seriously
  • The Labour Party will campaign for the EU to set up Just Transition Funds for training and new job creation, to assist workers affected by the necessary changes towards a low carbon economy, such as in the midlands, and to help prepare our industries and workers so they benefit from the green transition
  • We will support the taxing of greenhouse gases in a socially fair way, making polluters pay and using the funds to directly assist lower income households to overcome energy poverty and to make home retrofitting, clean technology and electric vehicles more affordable
  • It is clear that the EU needs stronger environmental policies
  • There needs to be greater consistency and cooperation when it comes to upholding environmental standards across the EU. This can be done with strong legislation across member states
  • There needs to be greater support from the EU on recycling, particularly recycling plastic. Labour MEPs will work to push for better laws on reducing nonbiodegradable packaging and will support waste reduction measures like bottle and container deposit schemes
  • We support including sustainable production methods, better nutrition, targets for reduced food waste, better animal welfare, climate protection and the preservation of biodiversity in the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP)
  • The CAP must be progressive and focused on the future. It must promote sustainable land management and small-scale farming
  • We will work to find measures to protect nature and to ensure we preserve Europe’s diverse plant and animal species
  • We will continue to support measures at EU level to curb pollution of the air, water and soil, with strong protection for workers potentially exposed to toxins