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Sadhbh O'Neill Bio

In 1989 I heard about climate change from a physics student while I was in Trinity. It was my ‘Don’t Look Up’ moment. It changed my life. I joined the Green Party, then with just one TD, caricatured in the media as a sandal-wearing, granola-eating fringe group. In 1991, at the age of 20, I stood in the local elections to Dublin City Council for the Donaghmede electoral area.

To everyone’s surprise, most of all me, I won a seat. After 5 years I brought my political experience into the world of environmental campaigning and advocacy.

I’ve been working in this area ever since. I am a mother, an academic and an activist. Now I want to bring this expertise I’ve gathered over the last 30 years to the Seanad.

  • I have a proven track record and a reputation for excellent research, communication and coalition building.
  • Currently Assistant Professor at DCU School of Law and Government in climate change policy and politics.
  • BA TCD 1993, MA UCD 2015 and currently PhD candidate at UCD School of Politics and International Relations researching the ethics of carbon trading.
  • Campaign coordinator for Climate Case Ireland which successfully challenged the Irish government’s climate plan in the Supreme Court.
  • Worked for Friends of the Earth, Stop Climate Chaos, An Taisce, Kilkenny County Council, Genetic Concern and Earthwatch.
  • Worked in the Oireachtas for the Independents for Change group as a policy advisor on the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action 2018-20. www.sadhbhoneill.com

MY SEANAD AGENDA

1. CLIMATE CRISIS The Climate Crisis is the most urgent problem humanity has ever faced. Our environment is also under increasing pressure from air and water pollution and unsustainable land-use practices.
I welcome the Climate Act, and in the Seanad, I will hold the government to account, to ensure their words are matched with action.

2. ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE We cannot tackle Climate Change without Environmental justice. I will support a Just Transition to a sustainable future with a healthy environment that is rich in species diversity. Climate actions must be fair for all, in housing, energy and taxation policies.

3. YOUNG PEOPLE Many Young people are locked out of housing and job security. In the Seanad I will propose to lower the voting age to 16, bring in an ombudsman for future generations, and ensure that every worker is entitled to a living wage. I will fight for your future.

4. HOUSING CRISIS The Housing Crisis is an environmental crisis. For decades we built as if cheap fossil energy would be available forever. An unsustainable model of development has caught up with us. We have 500,000 houses that are well below standard, and a planning model that still perpetuates our reliance on cars. Everyone should have the right to a warm and affordable home. The housing crisis is deepening inequalities and creating legacies of disadvantage. We should take this opportunity to build communities, not just houses. I support rent caps and measures to increase the supply of all tenure types according to the same design standards.

5. SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS Big internet corporations are having a growing influence on every aspect of our lives, our economy and our tax base. I will work to ensure that social media platforms are regulated to end abusive content and trolling, and to halt the spread of disinformation, including ‘greenwashing’.

6. COST OF LIVING CRISIS The cost of living crisis is affecting everyone, especially households on low incomes in poor quality rented accommodation and young people who cannot afford to leave home. We need to become resilient from global shocks by investing in green jobs, environmentally-friendly goods and services, and especially renewable energy.