When we are all pulling together to ensure that the most vulnerable members of our are society being protected how do we talk about how climate and biodiversity breakdown remains the context for all our collective challenges?
Speakers include Oisín Coghlan, director of Friends of the Earth and coordinator of Stop Climate Chaos, Dr. Sandra Green from Irish Doctors for the Environment, Cliona Sharkey, head of policy at Trócaire and Sadhbh O'Neil, policy officer at Stop Climate Chaos. The discussion is facilitated by Áine O'Gorman, Activism Support for Stop Climate Chaos.
Guest blog, by Friends of the Earth Chairperson, Marion Briggs.
Notes on the Global Response: Coronavirus versus Climate Change
Like many in the climate change movement, I have been struck by the speed, urgency and depth of the global response to the coronavirus pandemic, and wondered why we haven’t been able to translate the climate crisis into the same type of global action. I’m still in the slightly baffled stage, although I am fairly sure that outrage will follow at some point.
In the run up to the recent General Election, Friends of the Earth supporters pulled together, and reached out, like never before.
Thanks to our strong, and growing community, we raised more money more quickly than we ever have before, putting €25,000 into the pot for climate work during the election.
That fund allowed us to work with our partners in the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition to create the One Future Campaign for Faster and Fairer Climate Action, which included not only long-time allies but more recent ones like the National Women’s Coucil and the Union of Students in Ireland. This became the broadest civil society push for more political and government climate action than ever before.
In late 2019, we wrapped up our Climate Campaigners Capacity Building Programme, which was funded by the Wheel’s Training Links.
This project allowed us to forge new connections and strengthen existing ones with groups all across Ireland as well channel funds into grassroots activist groups to enable them to build capacity and reach more people.
Over 18 months, the programme delivered 53 trainings - reaching almost 1,000 people face-to-face. Trainings included Climate Communications, Cultural Awareness & Anti-discrimination, Non-Violent Direct Action, Intersectionality, Active Hope, Group Facilitation, Tools for Decentralised Organising, Creative Actions, Climate Justice and Extractivism - to name just a few. Click here to see a list of the trainings delivered.
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.
In the last six months we have stepped up our collaboration with the trade union movement on the issue of Just Transition.
Just Transition is is the principle that there needs to be plan to support the workers and communities affected by the transition away from very polluting industry.
The most high profile example in Ireland is the peat-fired power stations in the midlands. We have campaigned against the peat stations since they were opened in 2005. For years we did so without any reference to what the process should look like for the workers who would lose their jobs. That was a mistake on our part.
The Climate Emergency exposes our politician’s true motivations. It’s easy for the Irish Government to say stoping climate change is a priority. But when actions have the opposite effect, those words are lies. The Irish Government recently supported a proposal to build a Liquified Natural Gas import terminal in Shannon. It’s for fracked gas.
Watching and being a part of the rise in climate action across the world has been exciting and empowering to say the least. More and more people are joining the movement, and we need to ensure we're forming a strong community of activism that can last!
Burnout can happen to any of us, and it's something the Friends of the Earth team are acuetly aware of. Because we work so closely with activist groups (and many of us are in actists groups), in supporting skills and capacity building and helping amplify grassroots actions and campaigns, we feel it's important to not only promote community wellbeing within the movement but also provide opportunities for activists to gain skills in this area.