Update on No New Gas
Posted by Jerry Mac Evilly on November 05, 2021 at 08:33 AM
No New Gas is our campaign to stop Ireland getting locked into fossil fuel use for decades to come - and to stop Ireland becoming an important facilitator of fracked gas transport around the globe. We’re campaigning to block the development of new fossil fuel infrastructure, such as LNG import terminals that would allow fracked gas to be imported from the US into Ireland.
No New Fossil Fuel Infrastructure - and the looming spectre of data centres
Data centres have emerged as a major threat to Ireland’s climate targets and efforts to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. In the last four years data centres have gobbled up enough electricity to power 560,000 homes. Projections for their future power demands are even more alarming. Urgent intervention is needed. We’ve been raising alarm bells in the media about data centres this autumn, you might like to listen back to our director, Oisín talking about data centres on Newstalk Breakfast here and on Virgin Media’s Tonight Show here.
We also supported people to contact their TDs before the Dáil voted on an opposition Bill calling for restrictions on the development of high energy data centres and new fossil fuel infrastructure. Unfortunately the Bill was voted down by Government but our campaigning on this is only beginning - we’re determined to find a way to pause excessive data centre development and prevent the development of new fossil fuel infrastructure. We’ll also be engaging on this issue in the context of the Government's energy security review which will be the subject of a public consultation in the coming months.
Stopping Fracked Gas and Liquified Natural Gas imports into Ireland
Friends of the Earth is also working to ensure that highly polluting fracked gas is not imported into Ireland in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
This campaign has made a lot of progress - a moratorium on the development LNG terminals in Ireland is now Government policy. But we’re not resting on our laurels just yet.
In fact, we’re worried that this policy to oppose the development of LNG terminals has not been respected. An Bord Pleanála designated a proposed LNG terminal at Shannon as “strategic infrastructure” a week after the policy was introduced! And then the developers of the Shannon LNG terminal applied for planning permission. We’ve sprung into action on this issue, writing to alert Government ministers and organising a petition for people to sign calling on An Bord Pleanála to reject Shannon LNGs planning application. We hand- delivered this petition last Friday and our looking forward to getting a response soon.
Other work for a Fossil Free Future
In September we wrote to the Minister for Climate Action and the Minister for Foreign Affairs calling on Ireland to join the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance. This is a joint diplomatic initiative to bring countries that have ended future fossil fuel exploration together and to work towards ending all fossil fuel production. We expect big news on this at the COP26 UN Climate Talks so watch this space!
We helped publicise the launch of a new campaign to ban advertising and sponsorship by the fossil fuel industry in Europe earlier this month. You might like to read more about this in the Irish Independent here or add your name to the campaign’s petition here.