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Decision to end oil exploration by Taoiseach is welcome: 'an important signal to investors'

Issued in news on September 23, 2019 at 18:58:00.

Troy Williams oil rig - httpswww.flickr.comphotostroy_williams20404556414 (1)

Taoiseach's announcement on oil exploration at UN Summit a welcome step

But no room for new gas either says Friends of the Earth

Friends of the Earth has welcomed the announcement by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at the UN Climate Action Summit that Ireland will end the exploration for oil in Irish waters [1].

Commenting, Friends of the Earth Director, Oisín Coghlan said:

"The Taoiseach has sent an important signal to investors that Ireland accepts the majority of fossil fuels have to stay in the ground if we are to contain climate change.

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What the Taoiseach should tell the UN Climate Action Summit today

Issued in news on September 23, 2019 at 01:42:00.

Leo at the UN file photo

"Six simple steps for Leo, one giant leap for Irish climate leadership"

Friends of the Earth has called on Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to make six significant new pledges when he addresses the UN Climate Action Summit later today (Monday) in New York. The UN Secretary General, António Guterres, had a clear message for world leaders before the summit: "Don’t come with a speech. Come with a plan." Unfortunatey, the Government's new Climate Action Plan does not yet amount to Ireland's fair share to achieve the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement, according to Friends of the Earth's Director, Oisín Coghlan.

Mr Coghlan commented:

"The last time the Taoiseach addressed an international political assembly on climate change he admitted Ireland was a laggard. His Government has taken some steps to change that, but they don't go far enough, or fast enough. Today, Leo can take a giant leap towards climate leadership if he announces the following six simple steps:

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SunRise for Climate September 21st

Issued in news on September 20, 2019 at 11:10:00.

SunRise For Climate Sept Image

Join our next sunrise gathering on Saturday September 21st - the day after the Global Climate Strike. Let's take some time together to unwind, recoup and reflect after all the organising and mobilising in the lead up to the strike.

RSVP HERE AT THIS LINK

In July we hosted just one gathering in Dublin, but we realise that's not possible for everyone - and we want to share this moment with all of you. So we are inviting communities to get together all across Ireland to get up at sunrise and gather somewhere beautiful in nature in your area.

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Can you help the School Strikers be seen and heard? Literally.

Issued in the blog on September 17, 2019 at 11:19:00.

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One of Greta Thunberg's great lines is "When we start to act, hope is everywhere". For me, watching 11,000 young people throng Molesworth Street last March it was slightly different. Seeing such action all around, I started to hope.

The global School Strikes For Climate movement that Greta sparked [1] has given me hope that together we can build a movement powerful enough, fast enough, to tip the balance towards serious climate action.

It is of course totally unjust that today's teenagers have to give up part of their childhoods to clear up the mess adults caused, in order to rescue us and save their own future.

So when the young Strikers ask for help, I really want to say yes.

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Taoiseach should announce moratorium on new oil and gas exploration at UN Climate Summit

Issued in news on September 16, 2019 at 09:57:00.

Troy Williams oil rig - httpswww.flickr.comphotostroy_williams20404556414 (1)

Ireland has a rare opportunity to show real climate leadership

Friends of the Earth has called on the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to announce a moratorium on new licences for offshore exploration for oil and gas when he speaks at the special UN Summit on Climate Action this day week in New York. Before the summer the Government used a parliamentary procedure to block further debate on a Bill that would ban new exploration for good, but has now written to the Climate Change Advisory Council requesting their advice on exploration policy. The environmental campaign group proposed the moratorium at a meeting with the Taoiseach last week, arguing it should remain in place until the Council has completed its advice and a new Dáil can reconsider the issue after the General Election.

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Support the Climate Strike Movement!

Issued in the blog on September 11, 2019 at 13:15:00.

Facebook Coverfull

It's a Climate Emergency.

And on September 20th, we're filling the streets.

On Friday the 15th of March 2019 1.6 million people took part in a global climate strike in more than 125 countries in more than 2,000 locations. In Ireland more than 15,000 students took part in protests for urgent climate action.

This September 20th, we're going to smash that number. But we need you to make that happen!

Find and join your nearest strike!

School-age students have self-organised marches around the country and they need you to attend. 

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IPCC’s Special Report on Climate Change and Land Use

Issued in the blog on September 08, 2019 at 17:00:00.

IPCC Land Use

The last few months have seen new temperature records across Europe, and unprecedented forest fires from Brazil to the Arctic.

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Stop Climate Chaos at MacGill Summer School

Issued in the blog on August 15, 2019 at 16:15:00.

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Catherine Devitt, Head of Policy with Stop Climate Chaos, was invited to speak at the 39th MacGill Summer School in the small town of Glenties, co. Donegal.

The well-renowned summer school brings together people from all walks of life to engage in discussion on some of the most urgent social, economic and environmental issues of the day.

Catherine participated in a panel, discussing “With its natural habitat and environment, Ireland has a major resource which is at risk of being destroyed.” Catherine’s contribution is available in the video here at this link.

Catherine Video Donegal.PNG

Peat.

Issued in the blog on August 13, 2019 at 12:53:00.

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Friends of the Earth objected to ESB's proposal for a peat and biomass plant at Shannonbridge West Offaly. The idea that Ireland would import chopped up trees and woody materials from all over the world to burn alongside dried out peat in order to produce electricity was unconscionable. Our bogs are Ireland's equivalent of the Amazon rainforest. Our biodiversity hotspots. Fragile ecosystems bursting with plants and animals not found anywhere else AND they serve as natural carbon sinks, sucking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere helping us to combat climate breakdown.

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Taoiseach urged to establish Just Transition Taskforce as he addresses forum on 'Decent Work'

Issued in news on July 30, 2019 at 07:48:00.

ITUC FoEI event COP23

Taoiseach to address forum today on "Decent Work" - Sustainable Development Goal 8

Friends of the Earth and school strikers Fridays For Future send Leo a joint letter

Friends of the Earth has urged An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to use the occasion today of his address on Sustainable Development Goal 8 on “Decent Work and Economic Growth” at the Stakeholder Forum on the Sustainable Development Goals in Dublin Castle to announce the immediate establishment of a Just Transition Taskforce to address the issues faced by the workers and communities in Clare and the Midlands, where workers at coal-fired and peat-fired power stations are facing layoffs and redundancies.

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions adopted a resolution earlier this month calling for a Just Transition Commission that ensures all relevant voices are heard and included, and puts social dialogue and collective bargaining at the centre of the transition away from fossil fuels. The landmark all-party Oireachtas report in March recommended a Just Transition Taskforce with an independent Chairperson to bring Government, the unions, the ESB, Bord Na Móna and all the stakeholders around the same table.

This month alone ESB has announced plans to lay off over half the workforce in Moneypoint, the Lough Ree peat station has been closed by the EPA and An Bord Pleanála has refused permission to extend the life of the West Offaly peat station beyond 2020. But far the Government has failed to implement the recommendation of the Oireachtas Committee, which was chaired by Fine Gael TD Hildegarde Naughton and includes Fine Gael TD for Offaly, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy. Instead the Government has referred the issue to a study group in NESC and to Offaly County Council's Regional Transition Team, which doesn't even include representatives from the Trade Unions.

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