Green leader Eamon Ryan has told his party's online national convention that Government will spend at least €1 million each day on walking and cycling infrastructure.

He said there is an ambition too to target three quarters of the retrofitting budget at low income and social housing.

"Reflecting back on the last year there are signs of such hope despite the hard times. For the most part we pulled together and acted in social solidarity to try and keep the virus at bay," he told party members.

Mr Ryan admitted the Government faces a challenge to get the balance right between saving lives and protecting livelihoods.

"No doubt we have made mistakes, and in all likelihood we will not get everything right in all the hard calls ahead but I still have faith in our people and our public administration and democratic system to get us through," he said.

The Green Party leader said Covid-19 had reminded everyone that "we are not immune to threats that come from stress to our natural world".

He called on people to show the same urgency as they did during the pandemic in the response to the climate and biodiversity crisis.

"In this bigger crisis there is no vaccine or recovery plan that can protect us. We have to act now, and I am confident that the Irish people and our Government will be up to it," he said.

Mr Ryan described the establishment of a commission on the future of media as one of the most important tasks that the Government has to undertake.

"Our media are losing out as all advertising revenue is directed to online platforms," he said.

Earlier, Green Party Deputy Leader Catherine Martin said the pandemic was testing the resilience of people like never before.

She said it was important to have robust debate and question decisions but now was not the time for any political opportunism.

"Just like the challenge of Brexit has brought cross party consensus and support, it is crucial that there is a unified approach to tackling the virus," she said.


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The Green Party was today debating and reviewing its first 100 days in Government.

The convention was due to be held in Donegal last summer but had to be rescheduled due to the pandemic.

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Pippa Hackett earlier said it will be a challenge to convince farmers to change their approach.

She told the Green Party convention that farmers are being asked in some ways to turn back the clock and to make their land less productive and this will be difficult.

Meanwhile, Green Party MEP Grace O'Sullivan expressed disappointment at the failure of a motion, tabled by herself and MEP Ciarán Cuffe at the convention, which would have allowed for joint leadership of the Green Party in Ireland.

The motion, which needed a two thirds majority to pass, was defeated by four votes.