Green Party leader Eamon Ryan and deputy leader Catherine Martin will address the twin challenges posed by the new Covid-19 variant as well as the climate crisis in their key-note addresses to the party’s national convention on Saturday afternoon.
The two-day convention was originally scheduled to take place in person but was moved online once the current coronavirus situation began to deteriorate.
In his leader’s speech at 5.15pm on Saturday, Mr Ryan will tell members how a new green economy is emerging across the globe and that the biggest risk is not from taking action but from standing still and doing nothing at all.
He will say that the question is whether we want to “change now or do we want to wait and try and catch up later, which would cost us a lot more”.
He is expected to assert his party’s position that no community will be left behind by the transition and that people will experience a much greater quality of life as a result of the switch to a more sustainable economy.
Benefits, he will say, should include cleaner air and water, warmer homes, less congestion, a healthier population, vibrant town centres and thousands of jobs in the new green economy.
In her deputy leader’s address, Ms Martin will outline how she had secured record levels of funding in the budget to ensure that artists and businesses could remain solvent and survive the pandemic.
With Covid-19 continuing to disrupt work and activity, in the hospitality and live entertainment sectors, she will say the Government “will not be found wanting”. Ms Martin is also expected to say she will keep the need for further targeted supports under review in close consultation with stakeholders.
Ms Martin will also tell members that the Green Party has started making “social, economic and climate policy seismic shifts across all of Government”.