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ACTION: Petition: Reject Shannon LNG's Planning Application

I don’t want more fossil fuels in Ireland and want An Bord Pleanála to reject Shannon LNG’s planning application.

  • In May this year, the Government produced a policy statement which introduces a moratorium on fracked gas imports and the development of polluting Liquefied Natural Gas terminals pending the completion of an energy security review (to be completed over the coming months).
  • Since then the Government has committed to increasing the current objective of 70% renewable electricity on the Irish system by 2030 to ‘up to 80%’ under the new National Development Plan that has just been released. The Government passed a new Climate Act in July which introduces a climate neutrality target for 2050, as well a 51% emissions reduction target by 2030. The Government has also committed to reaching 70% renewable electricity on the Irish system by 2030. The construction of new fossil fuel infrastructure is completely incompatible with these objectives.
  • A year ago Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin produced a letter to their Green Party counterparts which noted "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".
  • The Government introduced legislation to prevent new licences for oil and gas exploration in Irish waters in July this year. There is already a legislative ban on fracked gas in Ireland since 2017. There is also legislation in place to make the state investment fund pull its money out of fossil fuels.
  • The International Energy Agency in their analysis of a pathway to net zero emissions has concluded that “beyond projects already committed as of 2021, there are no new oil and gas fields approved for development…Net zero means a huge decline in the use of fossil fuel”.
  • UCC research has shown that as Ireland decarbonises its energy system and phases out fossil fuels, Irish semi-states face significant risks of stranded assets and major economic losses. However, our planning and regulatory system is not properly aligned with our climate obligations
  • 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. There is just no room for new gas. We need to #KeepItInTheGround.
  • Having banned fracking here to protect our communities from the environmental and health effects, it would be hypocritical in the extreme to start importing fracked gas from under the feet of communities in the US who stood with us while we campaigned for the Irish ban.
  • It makes no environmental or economic sense to sink millions of euro into building import terminals to import liquefied fossil gas (fracked or not) from around the world when we have to use less and less gas in future.


Notes

  • This initiative is supported by several activist groups and originated with Safety Before LNG -safetybeforelng.ie
  • Full information on this case is available on the An Bord Pleanála website here .If you wish to make your own individual submission to An Bord Pleanála, please see An Bord Pleanála’s requirements on their website here and here (note in person or by letter only; ABP fee of €50 per submission)

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.

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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An Bord Pleanála must explain why Government Policy on LNG infrastructure was seemingly ignored

Issued in news on September 15, 2021 at 15:54:00.

Copy of tweet two

An Bord Pleanála designated Shannon LNG as “strategic infrastructure” a week after new Government Policy Statement introduced a moratorium on LNG development

An Bord Pleanála designated Shannon LNG as “strategic infrastructure” a week after new Government Policy Statement introduced a moratorium on LNG development

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Expert report gives Government a C+ for delivery of their climate and environment commitments

Issued in news on September 13, 2021 at 07:32:00.

Marks out of ten dials

Significant groundwork achieved but current pace too slow to meet Government's own targets

The Government has been a awarded a C+ in independent expert assessment of progress on the climate and environment commitments in the Programme for Government. The Report Card 2021, commissioned by Friends of the Earth, was carried out by a three person academic panel who marked the Government out of 10 in nine subject areas from climate to water to transport to air quality. The scores ranged from 8.5 for waste and 7.5 for climate to 4.5 for nature and biodiversity and 4 for agriculture and forestry. The panel's overall verdict was that "While significant groundwork has been achieved in a number of areas within the first year, the pace of progress is currently too slow to achieve the Government's targets relating to their environmental and climate commitments."

Report Card 2021
Download the Report Card here.

Chair of the assessment panel, Dr Cara Augustenborg, Environmental Policy Fellow at University College Dublin, said:

"While many of the Government's commitments are not yet visible in our everyday lives, environmental issues have clearly moved up the political agenda in the past year. Significant groundwork has been achieved to turn the Government's environment and climate commitments into action over the next 3-4 years. However, serious concerns remain regarding the Government's progress in addressing the biodiversity crisis, declining water quality, and the role of agriculture and forestry in these areas."

Highlights and lowlights:

The Government scored highly on some high profile subjects, including an 8 on Climate Governance where the panel found the climate law "delivered on the Government’s commitments to make provision for the enactment of ambitious 2030 and 2050 emissions targets and 5-year carbon budgets, in addition to enhancing the expertise and diversity of the Climate Change Advisory Council."

In other areas progress was disappointing. On Biodiversity the panel found "Commitments to review the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) mandate and convene a Citizens’ Assembly on biodiversity are progressing too slowly, and the Government has thus far failed to address their commitments on hedgerows, invasive species and implementation of the National Biodiversity Action Plan" and awarded the Government a 4.5.

Meanwhile in agriculture, where policy is frequently controversial and contested, the panel found: "Progress on the sustainability of Irish agriculture and forestry has been disappointing. Food Vision 2030 is incompatible with climate goals and emission reduction targets, perpetuates an agricultural model which is directly responsible for escalating nutrient pollution and locks Ireland into damaging water quality for the remainder of this Government" and awarded their lowest mark, a 4, for "Poor Progress".

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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

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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."

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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:

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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.

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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

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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. 

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