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All the lastest news our work to promote a rapid and just transition to a community-centred, zero-carbon energy system.


ACTION: No to Shannon LNG

We oppose the building of terminals to import fracked gas, lock us into fossil fuel dependence, and blow our chances of containing climate change.

In 2008 a company called Shannon LNG was granted planning permission to build a terminal on the Shannon estuary in northern Kerry, to import liquefied natural gas (LNG). The terminal hasn't been built, but now the company is looking to get an extension of the planning permission. An Bord Pleanála are considering whether this constitutes a material change to the original permission.

So much has changed since 2008:

  • In 2012, the International Energy Agency concluded "No more than one-third of proven reserves of fossil fuels can be consumed prior to 2050 if the world is to achieve the 2°C goal" for limiting climate change.
  • In 2013 the IPCC published their latest assessment of climate science and estimated that we had used over half the "global carbon budget" if we want to avoid 2°C of global warming, and the entire budget will be exhausted in less than 30 years (5 years ago) if we continue to burn fossil fuels at current rates.
  • In 2015 the Oireachtas passed the Climate Action law to underpin Government policy of reducing Irish carbon dioxide emissions by 80% by 2050. Moreover, the Energy White Paper adopted by Government shortly afterwards set a target for the energy sector of cutting emissions by 80-95% by 2050.
  • Also in 2015, 196 countries agreed the Paris Climate Accord with the aim of "Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels". 
  • In 2017, the Tyndall Centre in Manchester University and Teeside University published a study which found "Current levels of emissions will use up the EU’s 2°C carbon budget in under nine years", "Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) transport increases the climate change impact of natural gas supply chains" and crucially "within two decades fossil fuel use, including gas, must have all but ceased, with complete decarbonisation following soon after."
  • And in 2017, Ireland banned hydraulic fracturing - fracking - for the exploration and extraction of oil and gas onshore in Ireland.

Building LNG terminals that last 30 years makes no economic or environmental sense for Ireland, when we have to leave 2/3 of known fossil fuels in the ground and stop burning gas altogether within two decades. There is a high risk the terminals would become stranded assets, white elephants, monuments to the folly of the late fossil age.

Building LNG terminals to import fracked gas makes no moral sense when we banned fracking - just last year - because the public and our parliament decided the potentially devastating impacts on communities' water, health and tourism and farming were two high a price to pay. Surely we don't now want to import fracked gas from communities from the US and elsewhere struggling to cope with those same impacts.

We urge An Bord Pleanála to refuse an extension to the planning permission as importing LNG is clearly no longer a sustainable option for Ireland.

We urge the Government to reverse it's short-sighted support for building LNG terminals and locking us into fossil fuel dependence, just when opportunities to invest in saving energy and ramping up community-centred renewables are opening up.

*If you sign this petition we will include your name on a list endorsing this explanatory text as a submission to An Bord Pleanala. 

Oil and Gas Drilling: Add your voice to this petition before it's presented tomorrow!

Issued in the blog on July 09, 2018 at 16:49:00.

NHNA logo full name

On Tuesday, the Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action will hold hearings on a Bill to ban exploration for more gas off the Irish coast [1]. The Committee has to decide whether to kill the Bill or progress it to the next stage.

Not Here Not Anywhere (NHNA), a grassroots campaigning group working to protect Ireland's coasts from fossil fuel drilling, have been working tirelessly on this campaign for a year, and will be presenting a petiton to the Chair of this committee tomorrow afternoon.

Their petition currently has just over 3,000 names.

Can you help it reach 4,000?

Hildegarde Naughton TD, Chair of the Committee on Climate Action has agreed to receive the petition when the hearing finishes (sometime between 1:30pm and 2pm we understand).

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'A new hope?' How to turn today's welcome rhetoric on climate action into reality.

Issued in news on June 20, 2018 at 12:42:00.

Naughten and ministers

Commenting on today's Project Ireland 2040 event on climate action, addressed by the Taoiseach and four cabinet ministers, Oisin Coghlan, Director of Friends of the Earth, said

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Government stands indicted by EPA's new climate pollution figures

Issued in news on May 31, 2018 at 12:24:00.

60 NO FEE Stop Climate Chaos

Citizens' Assembly report on climate must be acted on immediately

Friends of the Earth has said that 20 years of government inaction has been exposed by new figures from the EPA which show Ireland will miss its 2020 climate pollution target by 19 percentage points, and that without new policies our emissions will still be higher in 2030 than they were in 1990.

Commenting on the EPA figures, Oisin Coghlan, Director of Friends of the Earth said:

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Power Transfer 2030

Issued in publications on March 28, 2018.

The deployment of wind energy has been the biggest success story of Ireland’s decarbonisation thus far, with approximately 26% of electricity generated coming from this source in 2017. This is only the end of the beginning—a good foundation for the ultimate objective of complete power system decarbonisation. In this policy brief, we assess recent developments with a view to contributing to the debate on the power shift that will occur in the period to 2030.

Under current Government proposals, our key findings are:

  • The pace of power system decarbonisation is likely to be slow over the coming decade because of an over-emphasis on controlling the Public Service Obligation (PSO) Levy. The increase in PSO required for renewables has not resulted in escalating electricity bills up to now, as is often assumed, and a greater pace of renewables deployment could in fact result in lower electricity prices by 2030.
  • There is a robust proposal to promote energy democracy. Opportunities for local communities to collectively develop wind and solar PV projects, and for households to invest in rooftop solar PV, are likely to feature prominently. For citizen energy to work in practice, however, there is a need to promote awareness and up-skilling of communities, and for persistent policy attention over the next decade.
  • Technological diversity is likely to remain low, and the dependence on on-shore wind for power system decarbonisation is likely to persist in the immediate future.

 

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Leo lets us all down on climate change in effort to cosy up to Trump

Issued in news on March 15, 2018 at 19:08:00.

Friends of the Earth has accused Leo Varadkar of dropping a diplomatic clanger on climate change in his effort to cosy up to Trump.

While speaking publicly in the U.S. today, the Taoiseach said he was “happy to take credit” for the rejection of a planning application for a wind farm near Trump’s Doonbeg golf course following a phone call from Mr. Trump asking for Varadkar’s intervention as then Minster for Tourism.

Golf course in Washington State during forest fires in 2017 (CNN)Commenting, Oisin Coghlan, Director of Friends of the Earth said:

"I'm truly shocked by this. When Leo Varadkar said he wanted to talk to Donald Trump about climate change I did not think he meant 'taking credit' for a wind farm not being built near Trump's golf course in Clare.”

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Dáil calls time on fossil fuel exploration in historic vote

Issued in news on February 09, 2018 at 11:38:00.

Climate Emergency Bill demo Concern TYs

Bill to end offshore drilling licences passes first legislative hurdle

The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition has described today's Dáil vote in favour of the Climate Emergency Measures Bill as "historic". The Bill, proposed by People Before Profit TD Brid Smith, would end the issuing of licences to explore for oil and gas in Irish waters. It passed the second stage debate and was referred to the Climate Action Committee by 78 votes to 48, with cross-party support emerging to overcome Government opposition to the Bill.

Stop Climate Chaos spokesperson, Meaghan Carmody, said:

"Leo Varadkar put his Government on the wrong side of history today. The Government clung to the past but they lost. Dáil Eireann voted to take another step towards a fossil fuel free future.

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"The only option was to put my body in between the diggers and the earth"

Issued in the blog on December 08, 2017 at 17:45:00.

Queer bloc at Ende Gelande Nov 2017

A member of Fossil Free TCD went to the UN climate talks in Bonn last month. This is the first of two reports she wrote for us.
I am crouched behind a damp sand bank and can feel my heartbeat in my ears. People shuffle hurriedly in both directions next to me, careful not to slip into the trench behind. I am too terrified to peer over the bank, in case I come face-to-face with a riot cop, and his shield or baton comes crashing into me. I huddle down smaller. Can they see my rucksack over the edge? Someone grabs by elbow violently and I almost shout out - but it is ok. My affinity group is planning our next move. We turn to the hundreds lining the cusp of the pit above, as high up as House 6 from the base: “Which way?” we whisper-scream up at them. “Go left!”, “Left!”, “No cops left!” they shout back, and we are off. Last chance to go back, but we’re up and over and gone. Police far to the right but they’ll never reach us in time. I am running before I know it, and look back for my “buddy” Emma, who has asthma. Her, Tony, and Frodo are close behind. Of course, as it turned out, none of these were their real names.

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Ladybird Expert series on Climate Change - A Summary

Issued in the blog on December 04, 2017 at 16:55:00.

Notes on: Climate Change, by Tony Juniper and Emily Shuckburgh  

Ladybird Expert series 2017, (52 pages including some illustrations)

 

Summarised by:

Paul Donnelly, August 2017

Paul was a highly respected, committed member of Dublin Friends of the Earth and suddenly passed away in November 2017. He spent much of his time collating information about climate change in order to make the topic more accessible for people. May he rest in peace.

 

Background:

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Friends of the Earth is "appalled" by latest climate pollution figures from EPA

Issued in news on November 27, 2017 at 14:41:00.

2017-11 EPA website barchart on 2016 emissions

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has today released the figures for Ireland's climate-changing pollution in 2016.

They make for grim reading - with emissions up across the board and a 3.5% total increase year-on-year.

Speaking at the EPA event to publich the figures, Dr. Cara Augustenborg, Head of Science and Communications for Friends of the Earth, commented:

"We are appalled by today's EPA figures for Ireland's greenhouse gas emissions in 2016. Our climate pollution is rising at around 3.5% a year when the Government's own target means they should be coming down by 5% a year.

"Of the handful of EU countries who are going to miss their 2020 climate targets, Ireland is the only Member State whose emissions are still rising.

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A scare in time?

Issued in the blog on November 02, 2017 at 01:30:00.

Ophelia

The scariest thing I saw this Halloween was this new report about carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. The last time CO2 stayed this high, sea levels were 20 metres higher than they are today.

But there is hope . Research also reported this week concludes "an energy transformation big enough and fast enough to curb global warming remains within reach. Better still, we do not need to wait for new inventions to implement the changes we need; the transformation can happen right now".

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