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Will the next cohort of local representatives defend essential national infrastructure against hostility towards wind and solar farms? Former speaker of the US House of Representatives Tip O’Neill is famous for joking all politics are local: he said, “everything starts at your back yard”. How to square this political maxim with robust decision-making in respect of Ireland’s renewable energy transition will be one of the most defining issues in the 2024 local elections. Will the next cohort of local politicians have the guts to stand up and defend essential national infrastructure against what appears to be growing hostility towards wind and solar farms? Climate denial is rare in Irish politics, thankfully. But acknowledging the crisis and acting on it are two different things. The climate emergency requires a transformation of the energy system to electrify almost everything and power our economy with renewable energy. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has only raised the geopolitical stakes — a world energy system controlled by authoritarian petrostates is obviously not in our national interest. There appears to be a phenomenon of anti-renewables sentiment countrywide. Solar farms are being opposed in counties Tipperary, Meath, Kildare and Waterford Ireland has ambitious targets for renewable energy, reflecting our outstanding resource potential. The good news is that this transition is both technically and economically feasible, with the potential for massive job creation and rural development. And if done correctly, it doesn’t have to have a negative impact on existing habitats or protected species.