Dublin's Green Voice in Europe

My priority is making laws that will provide a better quality of life for the people of Dublin. Decent and affordable housing, quality public transport with fairer fares, cleaner air, and a sparkling Dublin Bay: this is the future I want for everyone living in our city.

I’m proud to serve as your Dublin Green MEP. I have been working for a greener Dublin for over 30 years: as a Councillor for the North Inner City, TD for Dún Laoghaire, as Minister of State with responsibility for climate change, and now as an MEP.

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On my agenda

Free Palestine

I am pushing for real EU action, together with Grace O’Sullivan MEP,  to secure an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people. 

These actions should include suspending the EU-Israel Association Agreement, banning arms exports to Israel and the import of Israeli settlement goods, and sanctions against violent West Bank settlers. I will not support the reappointment of Ursula von der Leyen as European Commission President. 

I believe the Irish government and more EU countries should recognise the State of Palestine as soon as possible, and I support the Government’s intervention in South Africa’s ICJ case against Israel. The Occupied Territories Bill, which would ban the sale of Israeli settlement goods in Ireland, must also be enacted.

Green Boost for Buildings

This April, new EU green buildings legislation that I negotiated, known as the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive or ‘EPBD’, will become law. The EPBD will deliver savings on bills, help people on lower incomes to retrofit, and provide more local, expert advice tailored to people’s needs. 

We are taking this action on buildings not only to protect people from high bills, but also to bring down emissions. Buildings consume a whopping 40% of Europe’s energy, and produce 36% of our emissions. Meanwhile, seven out of 10 buildings are energy inefficient

I am confident that the law I negotiated will lead to savings for Dublin households, while bringing down emissions.

EU Housing Plan

Europe is in a housing crisis: right across the continent, people are facing increasingly unaffordable rents, eye-watering house prices, and rising energy bills caused by bad quality housing. This crisis is particularly acute in cities like Dublin.

We are often told that Europe has no powers over housing, but that simply isn’t true. The EU is playing a role in our housing markets, so it is vitally important that we ensure this role is a positive one. I have been working hard with my Green colleagues over the last five years to improve the EU response to this crisis, but the proposals we have received so far simply do not go far enough.

That’s why we have  put together  a European Housing Crisis response plan that addresses five priority areas: more affordable and social housing; boosting renovation and construction; ending homelessness by 2030; stricter oversight of short-term rentals; and tackling housing speculation.

I am also calling for a European Housing Fund to help address the €57 billion annual investment gap in social and affordable housing. With new EU renovation targets coming down the line, the Housing Fund should also prioritise and support renovations for the people who can't afford their energy bills, who stand to benefit the most from these works.

Improving Road Safety

The rising death toll on Irish roads is a serious concern. Ireland is one of just six EU countries where road fatalities have increased since the pandemic. While Ireland's road death rates are still below the EU average, we must do everything in our power to keep everyone safer on our roads. 

Improving road safety is a top priority for me as the leading Green MEP on the Parliament’s transport committee. Some of the issues I have been working hard on are:

Improving working conditions for professional drivers

Keeping dangerous megatrucks out of Ireland

Limiting the relentless growth in the weight and size of SUVs

More funding for safer roads, including segregated cycle lanes

Ending impunity for people who break traffic laws

The EU’s first every cycling strategy

I am now pushing for the creation of an EU road safety agency to oversee all these issues. In Ireland, I believe that more Garda resources are needed for speed enforcement in order to reduce deaths. A 30 km/h speed limit should also be introduced in urban areas and Safe School Zones should be further promoted to protect our children.

Restoring Nature

Taking action on climate change is not just about moving away from fossil fuels, or changing how we travel and what we eat. We also need to restore nature and protect biodiversity. 

Our natural environment absorbs carbon, produces our food, and underpins our economy. This is what the EU wants to protect and restore. 

The EU’s Nature Restoration Law gives us a fighting chance to reverse hundreds of years of damage that has been done to our ecosystems, while increasing food security and protecting livelihoods into the decades ahead. 

Reducing Noise & Emissions at Dublin Airport

The proposal to lift the passenger cap at Dublin Airport from 32 million to 40 million passengers per year should be rejected. Expanding the cap would create an unacceptable increase in noise for residents, as well as a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions. 

I strongly believe that there is a greener future for aviation, and I have been working in the European Parliament to get us there and faster. In 2023, I negotiated a new EU law to start making flying more sustainable by mandating the use of new greener types of jet fuel. I also secured €2 million in EU funding for a project to help clean up jet fuel.

These fuels will help reduce emissions from aviation, but not nearly quickly enough to warrant a 25% increase in capacity at Dublin Airport. In the middle of a climate crisis we all have a shared responsibility to do better, and state bodies like the DAA are not an exception to the rule. 

More speeches

Vote Cuffe No. 1 for Europe on June 7th, and #KeepGoingGreen

Ciarán Cuffe MEP criticises EU response to Gaza genocide

Key Issues

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