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It's happening. Are you in?

Posted by Oisín Coghlan on November 29, 2018 at 02:28 AM

Microgen 2nd stage passed

Something is happening. And I think I know what it is.

The climate movement in Ireland is growing in passion and power.

Together, in the last three years, we've:

  • Passed the historic Climate Action Act
  • Passed a law to ban fracking
  • Divested Irish universities from fossil fuels
  • Got the Bill to divest the Irish sovereign wealth fund to the point where it will be law before Christmas
  • Got the Bill to ban offshore oil and gas drilling to Committee Stage in the Oireachtas

All four of those Bills were initially opposed by Government and the civil service. But people power has tipped the balance towards progress.

Yes, I’ll talk to my TD on 5th December Yes, I’ll help you support people taking action

Since last Friday over 800 of you emailed your local TDs about a new Bill, to force electricity companies to pay schools, farms, homes and businesses for the extra power they spill to the grid. Right now you have to give away the electricity to the ESB for nothing.

Well, on Tuesday night the Microgeneration Support Bill passed its first big vote in the Dáil with no party opposing it, and several TDs mentioning how many emails they received. It now goes to Committee for detailed consideration. And the fight to get it into law steps up a gear.

And we are in the fight of our lives.

The science has never been more scary. And vested interests have never been more desperate to protect their short-term profits at the expense of our futures. Tony O'Reilly's Providence Resources has been lobbying hard against the ban on new offshore drilling with some success [1]. Short-sighted officials and the large companies lobbying them still think we should leave renewables to the "big boys" and cut out small-scale, community-based generators.

So if we are to keep winning we need all hands to the pump. The waters are rising around us. We need to raise the political temperature. Because the only thing that can outweigh vested interests is lots of vocal voters.

The climate movement needs you now. We need to #RiseForClimate.

I'm inI'll chip in

Over 200 people have already registered to come to Buswells next Wednesday 5th December to meet their TDs about climate change, as part of Rise For Climate, Jobs and Justice.

As I said before, you don’t have to be an expert in climate policy, you just have to be expert in being a human worried about climate change. It doesn’t matter if you have never spoken to your TD before. In fact it makes it all the more powerful. There’ll be staff and volunteers from various members of the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition there all day to support you no matter what time you come between 10am and 7pm.

200 participants is good. Enough to cause ripples in Leinster House, but we want to cause waves. We need at least another 100 do that. Are you one in a hundred? And thank you to everyone who donated since I wrote to you 10 days ago. But we still need to raise about €1,000 more to cover the event costs for the day. If 100 of us give €10 we'll have it covered. Can you chip in €10 or more?

Are you one in a hundred?

I'll be thereI'll be there in spirit

Thanks to our campaigning a special all-party Committee is now considering the landmark report of the Citizens’ Assembly on climate change. Our goal on December 5th is for citizens to assemble again to make sure TDs know that whatever plan they produce must be at least as strong as the Citizens’ Assembly report.

We're having a moment. A moment when our politicians of all parties are paying attention to climate like never before [2]. A moment when our media are covering climate more than ever before [3].

But moments pass. We need to turn this one into movement [4]. Into action. Now.

Are you in?

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[1] Irish Examiner: Tony O’Reilly said it was “a good thing to see” a government minister affirming the relevance of oil and gas in Ireland
[2] RTE News: Oireachtas Climate Action Committee visits Co Tipperary projects
[3] RTE News: UN says climate action must triple to curb global warming
[4] Oisin speech: How Stop Climate Chaos is helping to build a climate movement in Ireland

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