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

Issued in the blog on December 18, 2014 at 11:00:00.

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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!

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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 or if you need a few stocking fillers that last a whole year you get 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.

Read the full entry »

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."

Read the full entry »

Community Energy Conference - Nov 20th 2014

Issued in news on December 10, 2014 at 13:00:00.

Thanks to everyone who attended the Community Energy Conference 'Empowering Local Authorities and their Communities to guide local sustainable energy roll out' held in Dublin, Jury's Inn, November 20th 2014.

The presentations from the day are now available.  Just download the timetable and click on the presentation you want to see. 

Planetary passion versus protecting the national interest. Tuesday at the UN climate talks

Issued in the blog on December 09, 2014 at 23:44:00.

Evo Morales at COP 20

Tuesday of the second week is when the big guns come to town. The ground having been prepared for them by their officials, the Presidents, Prime Ministers and Ministers arrive to strut their stuff. Entourages sweep rapidly by the onlookers into various rooms as the multiple strands of the COP begin to either knit together or unravel in disharmony. It is too early yet to say which will be the fate of COP20 but certainly the commencement of the “High Level Ministerial Events” is also designed to inject urgency into the proceedings.

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Can youthful idealism help bridge the global trust gap at UN climate talks asks John Sweeney

Issued in the blog on December 08, 2014 at 23:31:00.

Lima FoE activists COP20 2014-1208

Climatically, Lima is to some extent the southern hemisphere counterpart of San Francisco, though considerably nearer the Equator. Like the Californian Current, the cold Peruvian Current ensures overcast and humid conditions generally prevail and Lima is well noted for its lack of sunshine. When the summer sun is warm enough, however, to burn off the low clouds in the marine layer, quite hot conditions can develop during the middle of the day. Week 2 at COP20 is experiencing just such a spell with temperatures a few kilometres inland rising into the high 20s in this city of 10M people. In an effort to reduce the carbon footprint of the climate conference, and perhaps focus the minds of delegates on what global warming actually entails, the organisers have sought to minimise air conditioning throughout the venues, many of them prefabs and tented structures. There was thus a certain poignancy to the session on climate change and health where delegates were given advice by the World Health Organisation chairperson as to how to cope with the furnace-like conditions of the room.

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Fracking could carry unforeseen risks as thalidomide and asbestos did, says report produced by UK's Chief Scientist

Issued in news on November 28, 2014 at 00:35:00.

Barton Moss frack pad 2014 - Barton Moss, Manchester
Barton Moss, Manchester

Historic innovations that have been adopted too hastily with grave unforeseen impacts provide cautionary examples for potential side effects of fracking, says report produced by government’s chief scientist Mark Walport

Adam Vaughan, The Guardian

Fracking could carry unforeseen risks in the way that thalidomide, tobacco and asbestos did, warns a report produced by the [UK] government’s chief scientific adviser.

 
Please support our fracking campaign.

A chapter in the flagship annual report produced by the UK’s chief scientist, Mark Walport, argues that history holds many examples of innovations that were adopted hastily and later had serious negative environmental and health impacts. The chapter is written by Prof Andrew Stirling of the University of Sussex.

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