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Young Friends of the Earth Global Divestment Day Action - Saturday 14th February, 2pm Sean O' Casey Bridge

Issued in news on February 13, 2015 at 17:39:00.

YFoE Divestment Day Action 2015

Imagine all the money that is put into oil, gas and coal industries is instead directed towards clean energy, community and social projects, arts and culture. Imagine a worldwide shift in consciousness and awareness where we all gave our heads a little shake and woke up to how ludicrous it is to destruct and control this amazing planet?

The fossil fuel divestment movement, which kicked off in 2012, is all about urging banks, institutions, universities, pension funds, individuals and more, to withdraw money they have invested in fossil fuels. Financially speaking, they are risky investments if we want to prevent destruction of the planet. So far, more than 837 institutions and individuals have committed to divest, and there are lively campaigns happening all over the world.

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I'm chairing this Public Meeting in Buswells this evening ...

Issued in the blog on February 10, 2015 at 01:47:00.

I'm chairing what should be a great panel discussion on the Climate Bill and climate justice this evening, Tuesday 10th, at 6.30pm in Buswells Hotel in Molesworth Street, across from Leinster House.

Speakers include:

Lidy photo 1

=> Lidy Nacpil - Convenor of the Philippines Movement for Climate Justice.
=> Niamh Garvey - Trocaire's Environmental Justice Policy Officer
=> Prof. Barry McMullin - Chair of the An Taisce Climate Change Committee

Nevermind us Irish NGO-types, it's really worth coming to hear Lidy. She is a hugely experienced international campaigner on economic justice issues and was International Coordinator of Jubilee South for 9 years. She continues to work on tax and debt justice as well as climate. You can see videos of Lidy in action here.

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Still no certainty within the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill on how Ireland will reduce carbon emissions

Issued in news on January 20, 2015 at 10:12:00.

20th January 2015

Now, more than ever it is essential that decisions on Energy Policy are bold enough to get us off our addiction to fossil fuels

The Government has finally published the long awaited Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill 2015.  Friends of the Earth welcome the publication of the Bill, however have expressed dismay that this current draft does not include any targets for reducing carbon emissions and allows for a potential delay of up to 2 years before any plan to reduce carbon emissions in Ireland is implemented. 

Commenting, Policy and Campaigns manager at Friends of the Earth, Kate Ruddock said

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Deeply Disappointing that Climate Bill Ignores Oireachtas Committee Recommendations

Issued in news on January 19, 2015 at 16:36:00.

Absurd that Bill delays climate action for two more years

Stop Climate Chaos has welcomed the publication of the long-awaited Climate Action Bill but described as "deeply disappointing" the Government's rejection of proposals by an Oireachtas committee to strengthen the Bill. According to the coalition of environment, overseas aid, youth and faith groups, three key recommendations of the Oireachtas environment committee, which held comprehensive hearings on the draft Bill and produced an all-party report, have been ignored.
Commenting, Stop Climate Chaos spokesperson, Oisin Coghlan, said:

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Our great 2015 calendar is now available. And Happy New Year from all in Friends of the Earth.

Issued in the blog on January 05, 2015 at 11:00:00.

008North of Disko1

We think our 2015 Calendar is our best yet. Check it out here.

You can buy it online now for just €12.

It features stunning photos of Greenland by photographer Daragh Muldowney. He says of his trip:

"For me, it is a pursuit of beauty, a continuous search for inspiring visions of Nature. Greenland is a place of raw and abundant beauty, one of the few truly wild places left on our planet."

We're thrilled Daragh has given us 13 of his spectacluar images for our 2015 Calendar. You can see the full calendar here.

Publication cover - Friends of the Earth Ireland Calendar 2015It's yours for just €12. And if you want a few for friends we'll give you 5 for €50!

Happy New Year from everyone in the Friends of the Earth office.

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John Sweeney's final thoughts from Lima.

Issued in the blog on December 15, 2014 at 15:29:00.

Rosa-Palomino-Middle Lima 2014 -
"Changing weather patterns are disrupting our harvest. The medicinal plants that are part of our culture and our ceremonies are not growing. Climate change is changing our culture." Rosa Palomino (Middle), President of Unión de Mujeres Aymaras de Abya Yala for the region of Puno, Peru. Image: Luka Tomac, Friends of the Earth International.

The pattern of These UN Climate Conferences is similar almost every year.  Initial optimism gives way to deadlock. The clock is stopped and the conference is extended into Saturday when an agreement of sorts is produced under time pressure from departing delegates. So it was this week. When deadlock was evident on Thursday night the Peruvian President of the COP, Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal worked feverishly behind the scenes to rescue talks which had become increasingly bitter. A compromise draft on Saturday was again rejected mainly by the developing country blocs. US delegate Todd Stern warned that the entire UN structure on tackling climate change was at risk. The prospects of the conference paving the way for an ambitious deal in Paris in 2015 seemed remote.

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Buy your 2015 Friends of the Earth Ireland Calendar for just €12

Issued in publications on December 15, 2014.

In June 2013, the ‘Killary Flyer’ set sail for Greenland from the West of Ireland. Led by an experienced skipper, Jamie Young, the crew was made up of three climbers, four kayakers, a filmmaker and a photographer named Daragh Muldowney. Eighteen long days and three wild storms later we arrived in Upernavik, a small Inuit settlement on the island’s west coast.

Publication cover - Friends of the Earth Ireland Calendar 2015

Get your 2015 now for just €12. Featuring stunning photos from Greenland by Daragh Muldowney our 2015 calendar is our best yet.

008North of Disko1

Daragh said of the trip:

"For me, it is a pursuit of beauty, a continuous search for inspiring visions of Nature. Greenland is a place of raw and abundant beauty, one of the few truly wild places left on our planet. I believe in the healing power of Nature. My hope is that these images can connect people to that distant icy shore and share in the profound sense of peace and calm that I felt when capturing each one."

Daragh has now been good enough to provide 13 of those stunning images to us for our 2015 Calendar. We're really exicited by it - it's definitely our best yet and we're grateful to Saba To Go for their support of the production which has allowed us do the photos justice and expand the print run.

So you can order your copy online now for just €12. If you want to buy a few for friends we'll give you 5 for €50 :-).

Best wishes for the New Year from all at Friends of the Earth Ireland.

Go to download page »

Lima climate talks fail to match expectations, nevermind meet the challenge

Issued in news on December 14, 2014 at 07:12:00.

lima_die-in -
"You tried to bury us here in Lima but we are seeds and we will grow into a forest of resistance". #SomosSemillas #WeAreSeeds #BlackLivesMatter. As governments watered down the text to achieve agreement civil society representatives staged a mass die-in in solidarity with those impacted by climate change. Image: Luka Tomac, Friends of the Earth International

Time for people to lead the way

The UN climate talks ended in Lima today – 36 hours behind schedule – with a weak text from world governments, which contrasted sharply with the real leadership and inspiration demonstrated by social movements. Rich industrialised countries are responsible for the lack of an equitable response in the face of planetary emergency and increasing injustice, Friends of the Earth Europe said.

As the Philippines endures more extreme weather and communities around the world pay for the carbon excess of others with their lives and livelihoods, the Lima outcome does nothing to stop the climate crisis. The outcome lacks courage, justice and solidarity with millions affected by climate change and instead leaves the world on track for 4-6°C of average global warming.

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Al Gore, Alex White and the Peruvian Irish - Wednesday at the Lima climate talks, by John Sweeney

Issued in the blog on December 10, 2014 at 23:25:00.

Minister White and Dave Walsh with Prof Sweeney and Ciara Kirrane - Minister White and Dave Walsh meeting with Prof Sweeney and Ciara Kirrane in Lima on Wednesday. Photo: @DCENR
Minister White and Dave Walsh meeting with Prof Sweeney and Ciara Kirrane in Lima on Wednesday. Photo: @DCENR

In the aftermath of the disaster that was the Copenhagen climate summit in 2009 (COP15 in the jargon, the 15th Conference of the Parties to the UN climate treaty), there were those that thought the COP meetings would gradually dwindle to insignificance as austerity and powerful vested interests conspired to de-prioritize concerns about climate change in many developed countries. Increased awareness of the appalling human costs of extreme events in the developing world and of the major economic impacts of such events in the developed world have however resurrected sensitivities. This has been further heightened by the growing scientific evidence of the IPCC and the championing of aspects such as climate justice by enlightened individuals such as Ireland’s Mary Robinson. European leadership during the dark days was also important in sustaining the faltering steps of international efforts such as the Kyoto Protocol. As the COP meetings of recent years have built an architecture which may yet lead to a comprehensive global agreement next year, so also have the annual meetings become foci for increased activity.

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Everything you need to know about the UN climate talks in Lima, Peru.

Issued in the blog on December 10, 2014 at 14:44:00.

climate justice infographic taster

Ministers from around the world are in Lima, Peru this week to negotiate the outline of a global deal to tackle climate change.

Prof John Sweeney, Ireland's leading climate scientist, is there as an observer on the Irish Government delegation. We're posting his reflections on our Blog. Here's a taster from his take on yesterday's proceedings:

"The star of the show today was once again President Evo Morales from neighbouring Bolivia. Now in his third term, this first President of Bolivia to emerge from the indigenous population, Evo has always been a fiery and compelling orator and his speech today did not disappoint."

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