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Fossil Free Future

We need to get off fossil fuels fast.  Ireland has excellent renewable energy resources, but our energy system uses fossil fuels for about 80% of its energy needs in transport, heating and electricity. 

At Friends of the Earth we are working to make sure that Ireland’s energy system is fit for the future, with no more investment in fossil fuel infrastructure, no more exploration for fossil fuels and an energy system that values and supports citizens and communities participating in and benefiting from our renewable energy transition. 


 

ACTION: Call on Ireland to propose a UN ban on fracking

Join the call for Ireland to propose a UN resolution against fracking at the General Assembly this year

Friends of the Earth has joined forces with activists and experts from across the anti-fracking movement [note 1] to call on Ireland to propose a global ban on fracking at the United Nations. We have written a joint letter to Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney TD to ask for Ireland’s support and produced an Explanatory Memorandum which outlines the case for a resolution on a global ban on fracking.

This call follows on from an open letter to the UN Secretary-General in 2019, signed by over 450 grassroots groups, organisations, celebrities and scientists from around the world, which demanded that the UN to champion efforts to stop fracking.

Gas is a harmful fossil fuel. At the very least half of all existing gas reserves need to stay in the ground unburned to keep global heating to less than 2C, more if we are serious about the Paris goal of 1.5C.

Fracked gas is fossil gas that has been extracted by an extremely damaging and polluting extractive process known as hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’. The harmful effects of fracking have been especially felt by communities in the US and include hugely detrimental impacts on public health and safety, as well as on ecological systems and the environment.

Fracking is also driving the climate crisis with US fracked gas thought to be responsible for the recent spike in global methane emissions (an extremely potent greenhouse gas). The Irish Centre for Human Rights in NUI Galway has also undertaken research on the international human rights implications of fracked gas which highlights that fracking has wide-ranging adverse impacts on many human rights (see here).

Ireland is uniquely well-positioned to lead the effort against fracked gas. Ireland already has a strong legislative ban on fracking in Ireland and within weeks will publish a policy against fracked gas imports. The state has also introduced legislation to make the state investment fund pull its money out of fossil fuel.

Sign the petition asking the Irish Government to table a UN resolution at the United Nations calling for a global ban on fracking.

Note 1
The orignators of the call include Belcoo Frack Free, Fridays for Future Ireland, Future Proof Clare, the Irish Centre for Human Rights NUI Galway, Love Leitrim, Safety Before LNG, Sr Majella McCarron OLA.

 

ACTION: For the Love of ...Solar Schools

Please change the planning exemptions so that schools and community buildings can install solar panels, without the added expense of seeking planning permission. You are now 14 months delayed in introducing this simple change to the planning regulations, and it is having a stalling effect on all school and community solar installations.

We love Solar Power! It's clean, free and zero carbon, but in Ireland we have hardly any of it.

And the reason why has nothing to do with how much sun we get! It's because Ireland has unique rules that are designed to make installing solar panels REALLY hard. It is particularly hard for schools.

One of these rules is planning permission.  Schools need planning permission to install even one solar panel.  It's madness, and adds significant cost. 

For years politicians have promised to change this.  They even leaked a story to the papers in August 2020, that they had done it! But they haven't. 

Today, the change is in the hands of Minister Peter Burke. 

Please email your TD's today, and ask them to put pressues on Minister Burke and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage,   and ask him to make good on the promise of many before him, for the Love of Solar. 

ACTION: Make your promise on LNG a policy!

We want to see a robust Government policy statement on Liquefied Natural Gas

On April 28th 2020 both Leo Varadkar and Micheal Martin signed a statement saying "Both of our parties accept that as we move towards carbon neutrality, it does not make sense to build new large scale fossil fuel infrastructure such as liquefied natural gas import terminals"

Following this the Programme for Government was agreed, which committed to developing a policy statement to prevent the importation of fracked gas.

But the Government has done nothing to make good on this promise, and the threat is growing every day that the fossil fuel industry will start to build liquified natural gas terminals in Ireland. There are now potentially 5 terminals in the making, and plans to turn Ireland into the gateway location for the transportation of fossil gas though Ireland into the UK and Europe. As a country we were groundbreaking in establishing a ban on fracking in 2017, so to import fracked gas from abroad is tantamount to offshoring the injustice that communities subjected to fracking face. It would also add fuel to the climate crisis.
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Email your Government TD's and Senators today and tell them to Act Now to prevent LNG terminals - floating or fixed - in Ireland. 
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Update on No New Gas

Issued in the blog on July 22, 2021 at 17:06:00.

global fracking ban

No New Gas is our campaign to prevent fossil gas lock-in. Its primary focus is on fracked gas, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) infrastructure and new exploration licenses for oil and gas in Irish waters.

End New Exploration Licences

We’ve been calling on the Government to honour their Programme for Government promise to introduce a ban on the issuing of new oil and gas licenses off the Irish coast.

Read the full entry »

Update on our Power to the People Campaign

Issued in the blog on July 22, 2021 at 16:56:00.

Community Energy - FoE Europe Solar Panels

We want everyone to be involved in the renewable energy revolution! The energy of the future must be renewable but it should also be community owned! We believe that communities, schools and grassroots organisations should be supported to own, generate, use and sell their own electricity. Recognising the value that small generators can contribute to our energy transition is hugely important and should allow for income to be spread through communities, like schools, farms, local authorities - and create an incentive for more people and communities to invest in renewables.


Solar Schools

Read the full entry »

Solar Bill a Ray of Sunshine in a Shady State of Affairs

Issued in news on June 28, 2021 at 16:40:00.

Community Energy - FoE Europe Solar Panels

Friends of the Earth
For immediate release
Thursday 28th June 2021

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Historic Climate Victory! Judge forces Shell to drastically reduce emissions

Issued in news on May 26, 2021 at 16:07:00.

Shell FoE Netherlands

Friends of the Earth Netherlands wins climate case against Shell 

 

Responding to the news, Friends of the Earth Ireland made the following comments:


Emma-Jayne Geraghty, Education and Training Coordinator with Friends of the Earth Ireland said:

"This ruling signals the end for Big Oil and Gas. Fossil fuel companies like Shell have a unique responsibility for the climate crisis. Their continued drilling for gas and oil is totally incompatible with maintaining a planet that is safe for life. Not only that, but Shell’s promotion of false climate solutions is a dangerous distraction from the real climate action we need. Because behind its talk about supporting the Paris Agreement, we know that Shell has been doing the very opposite - fuelling climate chaos."

Read the full entry »

Government Policy Statement is death knell for fracked gas imports into Ireland

Issued in news on May 18, 2021 at 18:03:00.

stop fracking

Friends of the Earth today [18th May] welcomes the publication of a Government Policy Statement on the Importation of Fracked Gas, including a moratorium on the development of LNG import terminals pending the completion of an energy security review. The policy statement stems from a commitment in the Programme for Government, and confirms that the Government does not support the importation of fracked gas [1].

Commenting on the statement, Jerry Mac Evilly, Head of Policy at Friends of the Earth said:

Read the full entry »

Join our solar schools youth assemblies!

Issued in the blog on May 11, 2021 at 16:34:00.

SSchool assemblies

To address the climate crisis, we need to get off fossil fuels fast. Ireland has excellent renewable energy resources, but our energy system uses fossil fuels for the majority of our energy needs in transport, heating and electricity. This has to change. Fast! 

At Friends of the Earth we are working to make sure that Ireland’s energy system is fit for the future, with no more investment in fossil fuel infrastructure, no more exploration for fossil fuels and an energy system that values and supports citizens and communities participating in and benefiting from our renewable energy transition.

Read the full entry »

Six Things to Look for When the Climate Bill is Published

Issued in the blog on March 22, 2021 at 08:32:00.

What to look for in climate bill - green

Media reports indicate that the Government’s revised Climate Bill will go to Cabinet for approval and publication on Tuesday. The Bill is a flagship commitment in the Programme for Government.

Climate legislation is about governance - about how we make climate policy and how we make sure policy is implemented. It is the framework to drive action rather than being a list of actions. Key elements include:

  • a long-term (2050) target
  • short-term (5 year) targets
  • a duty on Government to produce an action plan to actually cut polluting emissions in line with the targets
  • an expert council to provide independent advice to the Government and monitor progress
  • robust parliamentary oversight and ministerial accountability

Read the full entry »

Legal opinion shows that fracked gas import ban is possible

Issued in the blog on March 01, 2021 at 18:53:00.

legal opinion fracked gas

Friends of the Earth is working to prevent lock-in of fossil fuels in Ireland and our primary focus is on fracked gas and LNG infrastructure. There are currently 5 proposed LNG terminals in Ireland, with plans to turn Ireland into the gateway location to transport more fossil gas though Ireland into the UK. 

Read the full entry »

No New Gas Campaign Update

Issued in the blog on February 22, 2021 at 17:52:00.

CEM Bill Protest.JPG

No New Gas is our campaign to prevent fossil gas lock-in. Its primary focus is on fracked gas, LNG infrastructure and new exploration licenses for oil and gas in Irish waters.

This campaign made exciting progress recently with the plans to introduce a ban on new oil and gas licenses off the Irish coast. In 2017 Ireland banned fracking, which was a ban on onshore extraction in the Republic of Ireland. Now the ban will begin to extend into the offshore, contributing to the struggle to keep fossil fuels in the ground. 

Read the full entry »

Power to the People Campaign Update

Issued in the blog on February 22, 2021 at 17:34:00.

Upperchurch_School pic with logo in sky

Power to the People is our campaign to achieve the electricity-related key results of the Strategic Objective on emissions reduction, by putting citizens and communities at the heart of the transition to 100% renewable power.

We’ve made good progress on our campaign to change the planning regulations to allow solar panels on schools. Two weeks ago the Sunday Business Post reported that planning regulations would be changing to facilitate solar panels on buildings, including schools. We're continuing our campaign for legislation to seal the deal on this and make sure it happens. 

Councillors around Ireland have been supporting this too, and both Galway County Council and Westmeath County Council have passed motions recently supporting a change in the planning regulations.

Read the full entry »

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