The controversial trade deal being negotiated between the EU and the US could spell disaster for EU farming and particularly for the Irish beef sector, according to a new report from Friends of the Earth Europe.
The report ‘Trading away EU farmers’ reviews modelling studies carried out in the EU and US on the impacts of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The report concludes that TTIP will massively increase imports from the US, while having far fewer benefits for EU producers. Studies foresee a decline of up to 0.8% for EU agriculture’s contribution to gross domestic product, while US agriculture's contribution to it will increase by 1.9% - a net trade benefit to US interests of over 4 billion euros. 
You may have heard already that our Director, Oisín Coghlan, is standing in the Seanad elections for the Trinity College panel.
Oisin is standing as an independent candidate, independent of any political party and indeed independent of Friends of the Earth. But we're delighted that voters on the TCD panel now have the choice of voting for someone who would put climate action at the top their agenda.
Oisin himself says of his run:
"I've been badgering politicians from the sidelines for years and I thought it was time to put my money were my mouth is. I'm running to push climate action, social justice and global solidarity up the political agenda."
We had real success last year in getting the Government to recognize the role of communities in the transition to a zero-carbon energy system. The new national energy policy, the White Paper, launched in December is very strong on a commitment to energy citizens and communities.
There is no FF - FG deal on climate action The last national climate change strategy was launched 9 years ago tomorrow
It is with genuine regret that Friends of the Earth must report that our press release this morning to the effect that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael had agreed an ambitious climate action plan was mistaken. There is no plan. In fact, the last national climate action plan was published by Minister Dick Roche, NINE years ago tomorrow (that should be the April Fool's joke but it's not).
Backroom deal for a solar revolution, a ban on fracking, closing the peat plants and an SSIA scheme for retro-fitting
Friends of the Earth has welcomed the news that Fine Gael and Fianna Fail have agreed an ambitious plan to cut Ireland's carbon emissions. The 5-year climate action plan is being seen as a vital plank of any deal on the formation of a new government.
A source close to the backroom talks that drafted the plan was quoted as saying:
Issued in the blog on February 23, 2016 at 02:41:00.
... 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.
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.