Political parties talk greener Riga

A green city includes the state and quality of parks, greenery, pollution control, nature entertainment sites, air quality, and other aspects. Ahead of the extraordinary Riga City elections, political parties mention city environment in their programs, Latvian Television said August 11.

12 of the 15 candidate parties have included environment improvement in their programs.

Harmony, which has been heading the government for more than 10 years, has promised more active work on parks and squares. Their priority, though, would be neighborhoods.

"I would like to promise improvement of all parks but we'll have budget limitations. [..] So we have to prioritize. First neighborhoods, then center.  I think our center is rather pretty," said mayor candidate Konstantīns Čekuškins.

Eight parties have promised creation of parks, greenery, tree planting - National Alliance, Harmony, Union of Greens and Farmers, Honor to Serve Riga, Development/For!/Progressives, New Conservative Party, All for Latvia. 

Seven - New Unity, Latvian Russian Union, Union of Greens and Farmers, Alternative, Development/For!/Progressives, New Conservative Party, and All for Latvia have included air quality improvement.

New Conservative Party and Union of Greens and Farmers (ZZS) emphasize the importance of getting rid of smells around ports. ZZS mayor candidate Viktors Valainis said that the main priority is environment around apartment buildings. The party also wants to create a new nature area in the Bikernieku forest.

Valainis said that the party's promise to offer free public transportation is also environment-linked, as fewer people would opt for private vehicles daily.

Development/For!/Progressives have also aimed for fewer cars, by making the public transport quicker and more convenient. The party hopes to reach climate-neutrality, that is, not contributing to climate change by CO2 emissions.

New Unity has mentioned alternative energy production - wind and solar energy. Action Party has paid attention to animals - promising to build more shelters and install bird feeders. Latvian Russian Union is clearly thinking about cats in Riga by saying "Riga cat lives matter" in their program.

Parties, however, have not mentioned how much money they would spend on environmental matters.

Riga Council Housing and Environment department says the total costs have not been estimated. However, the Esplanāde park alone would require 2 million euros.

15 political forces, who have submitted their lists of candidates, have applied for the Riga City Council's emergency elections.

In February this year, the Latvian Saeima voted to dismiss the Riga City Council. The extraordinary elections were originally planned for April but following the state of emergency the date was changed several times until it was set to August 29.

LSM already reported promises made in party programs regarding Riga public transportation and real estate tax, as well as streets and bridges. Full programs can be read in Latvian on the Central Election Commission website.

 

 

 

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Politics
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