Irish political parties fail to “think globally, act locally”

Irish political parties fail to “think globally, act locally”

Today, Oxfam Ireland launched their 2020 General Election Scorecard with a call to the Irish public to keep people and the planet at the forefront of their votes on the 8th February.

The scorecard indicates that Irish political parties are not thinking beyond national concerns on a number of key global issues, including climate financing for countries most affected by climate change, tax justice, and gender inequality.

Oxfam Ireland’s Manifesto outlined seven key policy asks for the next Government:

  1. Faster and fairer climate action to meet Ireland’s commitments to address the climate emergency and support poorer countries to cope with climate change
  2. Invest in our care system to help address gender inequality
  3. Support a fundamental reform of the global corporate tax system
  4. Support sustainability through developing the circular economy
  5. Pass legislation to ensure that companies adhere to human rights principles
  6. Increase Ireland’s development aid budget to 0.7% of national income by 2025
  7. Protect those seeking refuge and keep their families together

Jim Clarken, Chief Executive of Oxfam Ireland said:

“Ireland has a good track record on the international stage. However, many of the scores reflect a failure to see these global issues for what they are – crises that need to be addressed beyond national concerns. For example, it is disappointing that none of the party manifestos mention climate financing for poorer countries to cope with climate change.

“The climate emergency is one of the most pressing issues threatening our planet’s survival – it doesn’t discriminate, but it is hitting countries least responsible hardest. Communities we work with are losing their homes and livelihoods everyday through gradual, insidious climate changes that also bring extreme weather events, resulting in more floods and droughts, human displacement, and inevitably, climate refugees

"The corporate world has a huge impact on our planets sustainability. Right now, every decision made can affect vulnerable people and ecosystems. Our disposable consumerism, particularly of fashion items and textiles, is massively impacting our environment. The fashion industry is the second largest polluter after the oil industry – developing a circular economy is essential in tackling this, alongside education and awareness raising about the costs of throwaway fashion – on both our planet and the people working to meet the demands of the fast fashion industry

"In addition, it is impossible to develop long-term solutions to global poverty and inequality while the current scale of global corporate tax avoidance continues to drain financial resources both here at home and from low-income countries - resources which should be used to invest in essential services that could lift people out of poverty, such as health and education, and climate resilience strategies.

“All of these inequalities perpetuate and deepen poverty and suffering and stand in the way of people - particularly women and girls – from being able to progress and enjoy their basic rights. As our Time to Care report showed last week, Irish women are no exception to global gender inequality with gross underinvestment in our care systems – so it is encouraging to see more positive scores in relation to Ireland’s care economy.”

Clarken concluded:

“The general election offers opportunity. A new government can position Ireland as a political leader on key global issues dominating headlines and political discourse the world over. Tackling inequalities that cut across gender, our climate emergency and global tax systems, and sustainability as a planet, requires strong leadership and long-term action plans. Most importantly, it requires solidarity with the people and communities at the sharp end of the stark imbalances at play globally. “There is an onus on us all, to start thinking globally, while acting locally.”


Contact Caroline Reid | | +353 (0) 87 912 3165
Alice Dawson-Lyons | | +353 (0) 83 198 1869

*Notes to Editor Our scorecard is based on a traffic light system: Green for Strong | Red for Weak

Further details about our Scorecard: Know their score: Where the parties stand on GE2020 issues

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