Financing Climate Chaos
Posted by Claudia Tormey on February 26, 2020 at 02:27 PM
Fossil fuel subsidies in Ireland: Financing Climate Chaos
What are fossil fuel subsidies? Why do they matter?
Friends of the Earth are part of a European project called Citizens for Financial Justice that seeks to inform and empower citizens to make the global financial system work better for everyone. Last year, we commissioned research on the financing of fossil fuels in Ireland and Europe. Producer subsidies work to cut the costs and risks associated with bringing new natural gas reserves into production, and they threaten to derail the holistic social and ecological transformation that is needed.
Natural gas which is lauded as a ‘transition fuel’, yet it is a highly dangerous fossil fuel, consisting predominantly of methane. In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change found that methane can trap heat between 86 - 100 times more efficiently than carbon dioxide, and warned that deep and immediate cuts in methane production are required to remain within a 1.5c global temperature increase, in accordance with the Paris agreement. However, as you’ll find in the report, natural gas companies are given ample subsidies to continue extracting and burning fossil fuels. And this is only set to increase with the increase in data centres that demand huge amounts of energy.
This report examines how the provision of (1) public loans, (2) tax breaks, (3) infrastructure, and (4) publicly funded research, generate staggering corporate benefits at enormous public expense. In a carbon and budget constrained world, the Irish government must instead adopt an 'unburnable carbon' approach to its fiscal and climate policies, and end fossil fuel producer subsidies immediately.
The report will be released over the coming weeks. We will be running lobbying workshops for you to get equipped to talk to your TDs about this issue so keep an eye on our website and social media for more!
As part of our System Change for a Just Transition: Seminar & Action Series, we will host a discussion with Financial Justice Ireland on tackling climate change on a financialised planet on March 3rd at the Teacher’s Club in Dublin. Click here to register for the event.
Action Against LNG and Fracked Gas
Earlier this month, we asked you to take action on the PCI List and Shannon LNG by emailing Irish MEPs to reject the PCI (Project of Common Interest) List which includes plans for Shannon LNG - a terminal to import fracked gas. Almost 1,000 of you took action, sending over 6,200 emails to MEPs.
Although we did not succeed in getting the PCI List rejected - Fine Gael MEP, Maria Walsh, broke party lines by voting in favor to reject the list, stating she had “listened to her constituents”.
Thank you for taking action! Maria Walsh’s statement is proof that your voice matters and with enough pressure, people in power will listen. This fight isn’t over yet!