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Oisín Coghlan

Oisín Coghlan has been Director of Friends of the Earth Ireland since 2005. Oisín heads the panel of representatives of the Environmental Pillar of Social Partnership and sits on the National Economic and Social Council (NESC). read more

Election Round-up: MEP hustings and ratings. Fracking the locals. And *that* Bill.

Posted on May 07, 2014 by Oisín Coghlan

yfoe 2014 ep election

It's election time and there are a number of ways that you can have your say even before polling day on 23rd May.

Young Friends of the Earth are having a hustings with European Parliament candidates in Dublin on Thursday 15th May, at 7pm in The Greenhouse on Andrew Street, D2. More info here.

The Environmental Pillar is having euro-hustings in all three constituencies. In Carrick-on-Shannon this Thursday 8th, in Cork next Tuesday 13th and in Dublin on Friday 16th. You can register here.

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Permanent link | Categories: climatechangeenergy

Climate Bill 2014 - highlights and summary of reaction

Posted on April 23, 2014 by Oisín Coghlan

IMG_4032 Snowmen protest at Custom House, urging Gormley to publish Climate Change Bill

So, the Government has finally published the Heads of its Climate Action Bill.

In a nutshell:
It took two years for them to replublish last year the Fianna Fail / Green Party Bill - with all the targets taken out, and the "independence" of the expert advisory body further weakened. Ignoring the outcome of their own extensive public consultation along the way. And now, a year later, they have strenghtened the expert body but ignored some of the key recommendations of the Oirachtas Committee who carried out extensive stakeholder hearings last year.

Oh, and these are still only the Heads. They have promised to introduce the full Bill in the Dáil before the summer recess.

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Permanent link | Categories: climatechange

4 tests for the revised climate Bill

Posted on April 14, 2014 by Oisín Coghlan

Weak Climate Bill 1 - Stop Climate Chaos coalition slams Climate Bill as too weak to work.
Stop Climate Chaos coalition slams Climate Bill as too weak to work.

A year ago, Friends of the Earth said the Government's draft Climate Bill was "like a car without an engine" and Stop Climate Chaos called it simply "too weak to work".
But the public hearings held by the Oireachtas Joint Committee last summer were very inclusive and thorough. Their subsequent report represents common ground across political parties and among a wide range of stakeholders on the contents of the Bill. Secondly, the process of developing a revised Heads of Bill is a test of the political reforms initiated by this Government to improve the democratic process by increasing the legislative role played by Oireachtas Committees. The courses of action highlighted in the report point to areas where significant improvements can be made to the Heads of Bill. While they are not as strong as we in would have liked, we believe they are the minimum that need to be reflected in the Bill in order to ensure its effectiveness. Specifically:

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Permanent link | Categories: climatechange

What has the IPCC ever done for you?

Posted on September 25, 2013 by Oisín Coghlan

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

On Friday the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will publish the first part of it's new assessment report on climate science. The last one, in 2007, won it the Nobel Peace Prize. 

You can join me and Prof John Sweeney for a "first look" at the report and what it means at a Stop Climate Chaos event in the Science Gallery at lunchtime on Friday.

Here's a quick overview of why I think it matters. Come along on Friday for a fuller picture, disucssion and a chance to power the whole event uisng Gavin Harte's bicycle generator.

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Permanent link | Categories: climatechange

Congratulations to Donal O'Kelly on his Edinburgh Festival Fringe First Award

Posted on August 15, 2013 by Oisín Coghlan

Donal O'Kelly Fringe First

Playwright Donal O'Kelly has won a prestigious Fringe First Award for his one-man show Fionnuala, a spine-tingling, stomach-churning insight into the mind of a Shell spin-doctor on the Corrib gas project in Mayo. The show is playing to rave reviews in Edinburgh where it got 4 stars from the Financial Times and a "Must See" accolade from The Stage. Donal has said he hopes the play might encourage a whistleblower to expose the dark reality of Shell's presence in Erris. Then just last Sunday the Observer rang a full-page investigative piece on allegations that Shell bought €35,000 worth of alcohol for the Gardai in Belmullet. Friends of the Earth's supports the call, made by Afri and others, for an independent investigation into the incident.

Permanent link | Categories: energy

Analysis of the Oireachtas climate Bill hearings

Posted on July 22, 2013 by Oisín Coghlan

Umbrella Day 2008 Irish Times photo - The photo from the front page of the Irish Times on 16th June 2008 depicting the Stop Climate Chaos Umbrella Action Day
The photo from the front page of the Irish Times on 16th June 2008 depicting the Stop Climate Chaos Umbrella Action Day

This is the unedited version of my opinion piece published in the Irish Times on Monday 15th July.

As the country experienced its most intense heatwave so far this century, the Oireachtas environment committee has been holding intensive hearings on the Government's proposed climate change Bill.

Despite the weather, and the fractious nature of the debate on the last Government’s climate Bill, nobody got hot under the collar in Committee Room 4. Instead, it’s been a positive, serious and constructive engagement, modelled on the health committee hearings on X legislation earlier in the year.

The Committee has had in-depth discussions with an array of stakeholders from the business, farming and environmental sectors as well as overseas aid agencies and economic and legal experts.

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Permanent link | Categories: climatechange

Oisín's opening statement at Teagasc Great Debate on Climate Change and Food Security

Posted on July 13, 2012 by Oisín Coghlan

green_cow - Irish Agriculture claims to be the among the greenest in the world
Irish Agriculture claims to be the among the greenest in the world

The real link between food security and climate change

There is a concerted effort to promote a narrative that increasing Irish food production is a vital contribution to global food security and, therefore, action to reduce climate-changing emissions in Ireland should put no limit on the expansion of Irish agri-industry.

In reality, climate change is one of the biggest threats to food security, not action to contain climate change. Other main causes of food insecurity are conflict, natural disasters, poverty, access to agricultural inputs and good seeds for small farmers.

There is no shortage of food globally. The problem is not production, it's distribution. The 1 billion people who go hungry every day could be fed with just 3% of current world food supply.

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Permanent link | Categories: climatechangefoodandfarming

A letter to Joe Costello when I thought he was going to the Rio Summit, or a couple of things Labour could do if they wanted to show they take sustainability seriously

Posted on June 13, 2012 by Oisín Coghlan

Publication cover - Letter to Joe Costello on Rio+20 June 2012 - Cover image for Letter to Joe Costello on Rio+20 June 2012
Cover image for Letter to Joe Costello on Rio+20 June 2012

The Irish Times reported on Monday that Joe Costello, Minster for Development and Trade, would be joining Minister Phil Hogan at the Rio+20 Earth Summit.

We drafted a letter to him suggesting a couple of things he could usefully do to ensure Rio has a progressice impact in Ireland.

On Wednesday we discovered he wasn't going to Rio, the Irish Times was mistaken.

It's a pity really. Many countries are sending their prime minister, but not Ireland. Others are sending their deputy prime minister, but not Ireland. Last week the Taoiseach and the Tanaiste "launched" a blueprint for "Our Sustainable Future" but couldn't manage a word between them for reporters or the the public .

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Permanent link | Categories: climatechangeenergytransportwastewaterbiodiversityfoodandfarming

A thoughtful Dáil speech on the challenge of framing a forward-looking climate policy

Posted on October 17, 2011 by Oisín Coghlan

Gormley on Carbon Budget Day - John Gormley outlined the contents of the coming Climate Bill in his speech in the Dáil.
John Gormley outlined the contents of the coming Climate Bill in his speech in the Dáil.

I came across this thoughtful and constructive speech on the importance of climate legislation and the progress that was made in building all-party agreement in the last Dáil. It was made in reponse to Minister John Gormley's last Carbon Budget speech on 16th December last year.

How quickly can you identify who made it?

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Statements on the carbon budget allows Parliament to reflect on the progress, or otherwise, being made in various sectors in meeting the target to reduce carbon emissions by 3% annually as set out in the programme for Government three and a half years ago. Some progress has been made but some of it was probably due to the circumstances of the economic downturn.

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Permanent link | Categories: climatechange

All parties commit to passing climate legislation

Posted on February 17, 2011 by Oisín Coghlan

All parties have now committed to passing climate legislation in the new Dáil.

Fine Gael

The Fine Gael manifesto includes the following on page 42:

Climate Change Legislation: Fine Gael will legislate for a climate change law that sets the Kyoto and EU2020 targets in national legislation but only on the basis of all party agreement.

Download the Fine Gael manifesto here.

Labour

The Labour manifesto includes the following on page 27:

Labour's Climate Change Bill will provide certainty about government policy, and a clear pathway for emissions reduction, in line with negotiated EU targets. Labour will also work at EU level to set up a national programme for forest carbon offsets.

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Permanent link | Categories: climatechange

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