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Let's make our issues election issues

Issued in news on February 02, 2016 at 13:41:00.

Six Steps to a Fossil Free Future

Tug of War Politicians are always telling us that nobody ever mentions climate change on the doorstep.

Let’s change that this time.

Whenever canvassers call to the door over the next few weeks, say you’re concerned about climate change.

You can mention the flooding, fracking or Ireland doing its fair share if you want, but just saying you’re concerned will mean politicians will be more likely to listen when we lobby them.

If you get into a conversation with them here are six questions - ask them any or all of them:

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Energy White Paper has "The Vision Thing" but lacks detail on delivery

Issued in news on December 16, 2015 at 13:08:00.

Kev sunset small

Carbon Free vision, 2050 target, community ownership welcome. Needed urgently: detail and delivery

A new national energy policy, the first test of Ireland's determination to play its part in delivering on the ambition of the Paris climate agreement, had been launched my Minister Alex White.

Commenting Kate Ruddock, Policy and Campaigns Manager at Friends of the Earth said,

"We welcome the Minister's vision of a Carbon Free future and the target of an 80-95% reduction in emissions by 2050. It's also good to see the commitment to support citizens and communities owning the clean energy that will power our future. But the concrete actions in today's document don't match the scale of the ambition or the urgency of the challenge.

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Will the Energy White Paper live up to the spirit of Paris?

Issued in the blog on December 16, 2015 at 08:16:00.

people power

We thought we'd let you know our take on the Paris Agreement.

Here's our press release
, including an inititial assessment of what the Paris deal means for Ireland. And here's a round-up of assessments by campaigners, journalists and academics.

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Energy White Paper first test of Ireland's commitment on Climate Change

Issued in news on December 15, 2015 at 20:52:00.


Tomorrow morning, Wednesday 16th December, Minister Alex White will launch the long awaited White Paper on Energy.

Only days after the historic agreement on climate change was agreed in Paris, this is the first opportunity for Ireland to reveal its true commitment to playing its part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and phase out fossil fuels.

Will it deliver? Friends of the Earth will be analysing it based on the following 6 questions.

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What I've been reading about the Paris Agreement

Issued in the blog on December 14, 2015 at 23:00:00.


I've been reading various assessments of Paris over the last 48 and I thought I'd share my round-up of the most pithy and insightful.

  • Bill McKibben came over all Michael Collins in the official response: "This didn’t save the planet but it may have saved the chance of saving the planet".

  • I like George Monbiot's line: "By comparison to what it could have been, it’s a miracle. By comparison to what it should have been, it’s a disaster".

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Only people power can bridge the gap between ambition and action in Paris Agreement

Issued in news on December 13, 2015 at 17:05:00.

people power

Weak agreement in Paris means people power will have to drive transition to climate justice and safety

EU pressure on Ireland for a credible action plan likely to increase, as focus shifts to national 2030 targets

The landmark Paris Agreement will not deliver the climate stability it promises without consistent public pressure for action and accountability, according to Friends of the Earth. It will however increase the pressure on Ireland as the attention turns to negotiations in Brussels, in the New Year, to agree each country’s 2030 target, according to the environmental justice organization.

Speaking from Paris, Friends of the Earth Ireland Chair, Dr Cara Augustenborg, said

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Weak Paris agreement requires people to drive transition to climate safety

Issued in news on December 12, 2015 at 17:26:00.

Friends of the Earth Ireland 

For Immediate Release

12 December 2015

Weak Paris agreement requires people to drive transition to climate safety

Ireland still has a mountain to climb to do its fair share

PARIS, FRANCE, December 12, 2015 – As the Paris agreement to address climate change was adopted this evening, Friends of the Earth Ireland has said that the agreement does not achieve all that the world requires and therefore demands people power to drive the transition to climate safety.

Commenting on the Paris agreement, Dr. Cara Augustenborg, chairperson of Friends of the Earth Ireland said in Paris,

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Climate negotiations widening the gap between ambition and action

Issued in news on December 11, 2015 at 17:06:00.


PARIS, FRANCE, December 11, 2015 –As efforts to reach a deal at the United Nations' climate negotiations in Paris intensify, Friends of the Earth has said there is a growing "credibility gap" between the new goal of keeping temperature rises to "well below 2⁰C" and rich countries watering down the 2050 emissions targets in the draft deal.

Commenting on the most recent draft text, Dr. Cara Augustenborg, chairperson of Friends of the Earth Ireland said in Paris,

“With each new draft of the climate agreement, the yawning gap between the ambition and real action is widening. The latest draft aims to keep the global rise in temperature 'well below 2⁰C' but fails to provide any credible plan to deliver on that ambition.

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Into the last few laps for COP21 – Three battles within the climate agreement

Issued in the blog on December 11, 2015 at 00:18:00.

With less than 48 hours to go in the United Nations’ climate negotiations, you’d think we’d have some idea of what shape the global agreement on climate might look like, but the Pareto principle seems to apply to COP21: It takes 80% of the effort to complete the last 20%. They’ve whittled down the text considerably but the core messages remain unclear.

In simple terms, the three most contentious issues that have yet to be resolved in the Paris climate agreement are:


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Baptism by fire – Cara's first day of COP

Issued in the blog on December 10, 2015 at 08:20:00.

Yesterday, I arrived at my first COP. What surreal world this is – A mini city where thousands of people go about their daily work of trying to combat climate change. It’s a tiered community where the colour of the badge around your neck determines what work you can and can’t do.

2015-12-10 09.23.02

I have a pink badge with the words “Party Overflow” written across it. This badge is allocated by the Irish government to representatives from Irish civil society groups. It is supposed to allow greater access than the yellow “Observer” badge many of my NGO colleagues have, though I have yet to find out how.

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