Eamon Ryan Resigns: Green Party Pays The Cost Of Coalition

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has stepped down after a disastrous election. The party lost both of its MEPs and twenty-six councillors.
Five years ago, it was a very different story as there was a ‘green wave’ in local and European elections. Before the election, there was an international climate strike when more than a million people marched in twenty-five countries, including Ireland.
Many were sceptical of the Greens but thought that as climate change was such a threat, they should be given a chance.
Eamon Ryan played into this mood by arguing that as there was little time to stop climate change, it could only be done by joining a coalition government with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. Just like the Labour Party, they became the prop which held up the domination of the two right-wing parties.
Far from bringing change, the Green Party’s participation in the coalition has been a disaster.
Incredibly, the Green Party voted against a ban on future data centres even though these are scheduled to consume nearly a third of our electricity in the near future.
They voted against a ban on private jets – even though they included such a ban in their European manifesto.
They even opposed a proposal to keep fossil fuels in the ground.
Eamon Ryan appeared as the mouthpiece for neoliberal capitalism. At one stage he even attacked the idea of free public transport, claiming that it would lead to ‘unnecessary journeys’.
Why such a blatant disregard for their own policies?
The logic was that the Greens assumed responsibility for running Irish capitalism in conjunction with the two right-wing parties.
They thought it was possible to develop a green variant of Irish capitalism by encouraging greater investment in technologies that were less harmful to the planet.
However, figures from the Environmental Protection Agency showed that this is a failure. The Government’s Climate Action Plan proposed to cut carbon emissions by 50% by 2030. But the EPA figures show they will struggle to achieve a 29% target.
The EPA found that almost all sectors will exceed their national sectoral emissions ceilings for 2025 and 2030.
In other words, Ryan was just ‘greenwashing’ a terrible right-wing government that cares little about climate change.
Saving the planet will involve a confrontation with capitalism – rather than trying to induce it to change. A system that is bent on profit and continual accumulation will always endanger our world.
The crisis in the Green Party shows why we need an eco-socialist alternative. That is precisely what People Before Profit provides.