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Can you stomach another Leaders' Debate ...

Posted on February 23, 2016 by Oisín Coghlan

YFoE hustings

... that doesn't discuss climate change?

The election is in the closing stretch. The final leaders' debate is tonight. Will they discuss climate change? Probably not, but even if they do it'll be short and superficial at best. The reality, however, is that whoever forms the next Government will find climate change high on the policy agenda because of the Paris Agreement, looming EU targets and competing interest groups at home.

So how much thought have the parties actually given it? Below you can see and read for yourself.

Act Now Button


Ask your candidates to take the Vote Frack Free pledge .


The hustings Young Friends of the Earth held with the Environmental Pillar are now online.

You can see the full 86 minutes here .

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Permanent link | Categories: climatechangeenergytransportbiodiversityfoodandfarming

Help bring our politicians back down to Earth tomorrow

Posted on February 16, 2016 by Oisín Coghlan


Have you heard any journalist ask any candidate in the election a question about climate change or the environment?

Tomorrow we change that. Tomorrow we break the #climatesilence.

Young Friends of the Earth and the Environmental Pillar have joined forces for a hustings.

Join us at 5.45pm on Wed 17th

In person: Wynn's Hotel, Abbey Street Lwr, D1

Online: Live streaming on Persicope - @foeireland

On Twitter: #GE16environment

We now have 6 parties who have confirmed they will have a representative there: Fine Gael (Senator Cáit Keane), Sinn Fein (Lynn Boylan MEP), AAA-PBP (Richard Boyd Barrett TD), Green Party (Eamon Ryan). Fianna Fail and Labour have yet to name their representative.

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Permanent link | Categories: climatechangeenergy

6 questions for every candidate in the election. Click to ask them now.

Posted on February 05, 2016 by Oisín Coghlan

Tug of War - Activists outside Leinster House illustrate the
Activists outside Leinster House illustrate the "tug-of-war" between fossil fuels and renewables for the future of Irish energy policy

Politicians are always telling us that nobody ever mentions climate change on the doorstep.

Let’s change that this time.

Whenever candidates call to the door over the next three weeks, say you’re concerned about climate change. Tell them now by email.

You can mention the flooding, fracking, or Ireland doing its fair share, on the doorstep if you want but, actually, even just saying you’re concerned means the TDs in the next Dáil will be that bit more likely to listen to us.

If you do get into a conversation with them we have six questions - ask them any or all of them.

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Permanent link | Categories: climatechangeenergy

Will the Energy White Paper live up to the spirit of Paris?

Posted on December 16, 2015 by Oisín Coghlan

people power

We thought we'd let you know our take on the Paris Agreement.

Here's our press release
, including an inititial assessment of what the Paris deal means for Ireland. And here's a round-up of assessments by campaigners, journalists and academics.

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Permanent link | Categories: climatechangeenergy

What I've been reading about the Paris Agreement

Posted on December 14, 2015 by Oisín Coghlan


I've been reading various assessments of Paris over the last 48 and I thought I'd share my round-up of the most pithy and insightful.

  • Bill McKibben came over all Michael Collins in the official response: "This didn’t save the planet but it may have saved the chance of saving the planet".

  • I like George Monbiot's line: "By comparison to what it could have been, it’s a miracle. By comparison to what it should have been, it’s a disaster".

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Permanent link | Categories: climatechangeCOP21UNFCCCParisCOP

Into the last few laps for COP21 – Three battles within the climate agreement

Posted on December 11, 2015 by Cara Augustenborg

With less than 48 hours to go in the United Nations’ climate negotiations, you’d think we’d have some idea of what shape the global agreement on climate might look like, but the Pareto principle seems to apply to COP21: It takes 80% of the effort to complete the last 20%. They’ve whittled down the text considerably but the core messages remain unclear.

In simple terms, the three most contentious issues that have yet to be resolved in the Paris climate agreement are:


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Permanent link | Categories: climatechange

Baptism by fire – Cara's first day of COP

Posted on December 10, 2015 by Cara Augustenborg

Yesterday, I arrived at my first COP. What surreal world this is – A mini city where thousands of people go about their daily work of trying to combat climate change. It’s a tiered community where the colour of the badge around your neck determines what work you can and can’t do.

2015-12-10 09.23.02

I have a pink badge with the words “Party Overflow” written across it. This badge is allocated by the Irish government to representatives from Irish civil society groups. It is supposed to allow greater access than the yellow “Observer” badge many of my NGO colleagues have, though I have yet to find out how.

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Permanent link | Categories: climatechange

The Fault Lines Emerge

Posted on December 10, 2015 by John Sweeney

Paris Committee Wed 9 - The
The "Paris Committee" of all 194 countries at COP21 meeting on Wednesday evening to discuss the draft text produced by France. Photo: Cara Augustenborg

By this stage in the second week, COPs usually enter a crucial stage where the negotiations hit a wall. The issues are always the same, namely how the principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibility (CBDR) is handled.Essentially, how much mitigation by the Developed Countries will occur and how much climate finance will they guarantee to the Developing World to aid their sustainable development and climate adaptation strategies. How should rapidly developing countries such as China, Brazil and South Africa be accommodated in a new world order of climate governance? Positive sentiments often give way to hard realities at this stage, and so it was today (Wednesday).

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Permanent link | Categories: climatechange

En Route to COP21- A personal reflection

Posted on December 09, 2015 by Cara Augustenborg


Is it normal to be this excited about going to United Nations Conference of Parties (COP)? Last night, I was like a child on Christmas Eve, unable to sleep with the anticipation of today’s journey. I’ve heard from colleagues that the COPs can be awful, frustrating events and that I didn’t miss anything in Lima last year at COP20, but I’m cautiously optimistic that COP21 will be worth the effort to attend.

Change is in the air

Part of my optimism is borne from a growing sense I’ve had lately that public opinion and acceptance of the climate crisis has shifted considerably in the last few years. There are a number of possible reasons for this:

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Permanent link | Categories: climatechange

Enda let us down in Paris - tell him it's time to lead.

Posted on December 04, 2015 by Oisín Coghlan


Enda Kenny let us down in Paris.

Tell the Taoiseach it's time to lead.

I was in Paris on Monday to hear the Taoiseach address the opening of the UN Climate Conference. In the plenary hall he told the assembled world leaders "this requires action by everyone, Ireland is determined to play its part".

But he told the Irish media that he wanted special treatment, that the recession meant we couldn't hit our emissions targets and that climate change wasn't a priority.

It was deeply disappointing doublespeak.

We've joined with Trócaire and Uplift for this petition to tell Enda we want a climate leader not a special pleader.

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Permanent link | Categories: climatechange

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