Over 100 citizens are set to gauge where EU election candidates stand on key environmental and climate issues at a public debate in Carrick-on-Shannon later this month before polling stations open in May.
The event in the Bush Hotel in Carrick-on-Shannon on Friday, April 26, will see concerned citizens challenge candidates from across the political spectrum to outline their green credentials in advance of the upcoming European elections.
The Parliament will have a say on all EU legislative proposals, with the 700 elected representatives playing an instrumental role in major decisions on a raft of green topics such as the fight against pollution and climate change to plastic waste and bio-diversity protection.
The event, organised by the Environmental Pillar - a coalition of over 30 national environmental organisations - will also provide an opportunity for the candidates to set out their commitments and assurances with regard to protecting Ireland's fragile environment.
Candidates confirmed to attend include: MEP Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael, MEP Matt Carthy, Sinn Fein, MEP Luke Ming Flanagan, Independent, Saoirse McHugh, Green Party, and Cyril Brennan, People Before Profit.
Candidates will be questioned on a range of issues and their responses will assist voters with environmental concerns in making their electoral choices when Irish voters head to the polls to elect the MEPs who will represent them for the next five years.
Now, citizens will have the opportunity to directly signal to MEP candidates the ambition that they want to see at a European level, with climate change is set to be a hot topic as Europe needs a radical policy shift to cut emissions by 2050 to avert the worst climate impacts.
The event will be moderated by Micheal O'Cinneide, a former Director in the Environmental Protection Agency, who said: “This is a great opportunity for you, the citizens, to come out and have your say on water quality, climate change, land use in the west of Ireland, energy policy or a range of other environmental issues where Europe has a role.
“We are especially keen to see the younger generation join us in the Bush Hotel.”