“I wanted to get involved” – Green waves splash the youth.

By Patrick Sharkey,

Green issues are some of the most pressing concerns facing our world today. From climate change to litter to deforestation, the impact of human activities on the environment is undeniable. Tate Donelly, the Green Party Delegate for Cavan-Monaghan, is a passionate advocate for a fairer and more sustainable future. Working alongside Catherine Martin in Dáil Éireann, Tate is dedicated to undertaking the pressing environmental issues facing Ireland and the world. From the influence of climate change to the importance of sustainable business practices, Tate shares his insights and experiences in the fight for a greener and more just world. Throughout his calling, Tate Donelly has been a strong voice for environmental protection and sustainability. Prior to trying politics, Tate worked as a climate researcher, studying the effects of human activity on the environment. This background has given him a deep understanding of the complex issues surrounding climate change.  

There are a lot of electrifying innovations happening in the renewable energy sector right now, such as advancements in solar and wind power, energy storage, and electric vehicles. Mr Donnelly says: “There were several things. I started taking an interest in political affairs and started to become quiet, I suppose annoyed with the way things were being done. I was quite frustrated I suppose just watching the political world. I wanted to get involved. For public services obviously the climate issue as well and I decided I as well knew I had a passion for it. I had to get involved. Then I had to, decide which party to join and after much consideration just the issues I was passionate about. I choose to go with the green party”. He wasn’t an instant success, but Tate was determined to make it work. He clarified that too many people get bogged down in planning and preparation. They spend months, even years, trying to perfect their idea before they ever act. Possibly it is now clearer that there are two advantages to this component-boundary-environment approach to these complex systems. On the one hand, it provides a basis for limiting the scale of a problem, so you don’t try to think of everything at once.

Donnelly ran alongside Catherine Martin in Dáil Éireann, with a focus on promoting a more sustainable and equitable future for all. Three years on from his election campaign in which he missed out on becoming a TD, Donnelly says: “Well I suppose the environmental issues come across into every issue.”

Tate added: “So I suppose people I think are now aware, do you know in many ways we’d have our lives affect climate change and affect the environment. So, for example, I’d be campaigning for improved public transport services, be that public transport to give people that opportunity, maybe to use public transport I suppose we haven’t had in the region or be it move to other forms of transport like cycling, walking or just electric cars”.

“I suppose I’d be trying very hard to get more EV charging points installed and to make it more accessible for everyone. So, I suppose to allow everybody to make a difference in how we get around you know. For transport, I know Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal are the only three counties out of the 26 counties in that Republic that have got no railway access. There is a disused rail line as far as King’s court which is right on the Cavan/Monaghan border. Stuff like that provides an opportunity if it was to be brought back into use as well with bus services. It is something I am working on in my local village. It looks like we might be getting a bus this year and I suppose that is something I am working very hard on. Energy is obviously a big thing, where we get our energy from but the move towards renewables is something which people are limited to in their own ability. That change may be due to costs or people I suppose connected to the grid knowing where the energy comes from. So, I suppose on a national level we have to really accelerate towards renewables. We now have a target of 80% renewable energy autonomy. I suppose that means when somebody turns on a light or uses any electricity, 80% of it will come from renewables by 2030 but there is also the opportunity I suppose for people to retrofit their homes to switch towards solar energy or to instal solar panels or maybe instal a heat pump, especially in new builds”.

“When I think we are building houses at the minute we need to implement those standards. So I suppose a big environmental issue is people’s access to energy or I suppose given the current rising cost of energy across Europe, due to the war in Ukraine, maybe the effect that is having on energy poverty and on people’s lack of access to energy. So I think we don’t often think that is an environmental issue in a way that if we move to renewables if we start to produce or own energy, we become more efficient. If we retrofit our housing stock and carry out energy upgrades, especially for the most vulnerable in society, it reduces our emissions, it reduces our cost of living and it provides I suppose warmth in our homes and energy access for everyone and then I look suppose there is the issue of agriculture and the emissions that come.”

“We need to cut it by 25% by 2030 and that I suppose is going to be a challenge but it’s something I suppose we all just need to work together. There is no point in demonising any farm at all. We all enjoy the produce and where it comes from in farming. We all enjoy the benefits of the local economy, but I just suppose the necessity of the acceptance of reducing our emissions and finding the right supports for farmers to do so and then on top of that I suppose you do have issues of damage to wildlife, damage to biodiversity and then I know we have to improve on several areas there.”

“I suppose climate change is a contributor towards I suppose biodiversity loss and wildlife loss and” we must work very hard. I suppose by combatting climate change we are also combatting biodiversity loss and nature loss, but it works the other way as well that by protecting nature and by protecting our wildlife we also contribute to mitigating climate change because the simplest way to think of that is you know the more trees we grow, the more biodiversity we have but also you know that work on the emissions but that applies to bogs I suppose is a big thing across Ireland. The more we protect our bogs they act on the carbon sync and carbon in the ground, and I suppose the more we protect nature across the country, the more will we not only combat climate change, but we will also enhance our biodiversity”. They are part of the ethnic resources of the first world. Here are similarities between some of them and the perspectives shared in other civilisations. Nevertheless, there is no reason to assume that this will be so. Such perceptions may be prevalent in any given place at any given time. Then they are far from being universal.

Metallic materials are much less widely available than aggerate materials. Tate Donnelly however believes the island of Ireland has enough materials to make a difference saying: “Well I think a good example of that is maybe through the programme of government through the current coalition government”.

The Green party representative added: “I suppose that what somebody’s opinion might be on whether the government is doing a good job, or they support the current government, I suppose you would have to acknowledge that the Green party has contributed greatly towards the output of the government and the best part of seeing that I suppose is to look at the programme of the government.”

“The green policies that have been implemented, be that through the climate bill or the climate act or be that through the greater investment in public transport and the walking infrastructure.”