13 Aug 2022

Waterford election hopeful seeks to offset carbon emissions

Waterford election hopeful seeks to offset carbon emissions

Waterford election hopeful seeks to offset carbon emissions

A Green Party candidate in the upcoming local elections in Waterford has taken the unusual step of seeking to offset the carbon emissions caused by his campaign.

Marc Ó Cathasaigh, who will be contesting in the Tramore and Waterford City West LEA, has made a contribution to the Native Woodland Trust and the Irish Peatlands Conservation Council in an effort to balance the energy costs associated with running for a council seat.

“It’s an issue that all Green Party candidates have had to struggle with. On the one hand, all the paraphernalia associated with running a successful election campaign - the leaflets, the driving, the dreaded posters - all have an environmental cost. On the other hand, the need to have Green voices at every level of government has never been clearer or more urgent. This is an effort on my part to try to square that circle," Marc said.

“Both of these organisations do excellent work, both nationally and locally. The Native Woodland Trust manages a beautiful seven and a half acre native tree plantation in Gracedieu, bounded by the River Suir on the one side and the Greenway on the other. The IPCC were a great assistance in the establishment of Fenor Bog in 1999."

"In addition to all the benefits to our biodiversity, these projects also take carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, locking it away for years to come. By sponsoring a tree, I can hope to offset around a tonne of carbon over that tree’s lifecycle. Restored bogs can sequester up to an astonishing 2.8 tonnes of carbon per year per hectare as well as providing habitat for some of our most threatened insect and bird species."

“I accept that carbon offsetting is a very imperfect solution to the problem of tackling greenhouse gases. If elected to Waterford Council, I hope to be able to make real and significant changes in the way of reducing emissions and helping people to transition to a low-carbon lifestyle."

"In the meantime, these contributions may help to balance some of the effects of my campaign. I’m hopeful that others contesting our elections might follow my lead and that something positive might come from this election campaign for all candidates as a result.”

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