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ACTION: What's our FF-Exit Strategy?

A fair and just transition to a better world for all

We all know working in fossil fuels is not a job for the future. Extracting and burning fossil fuels is not compatible with a planet that is safe for us to live on. This means the industry has to wind up. Fast.

In Ireland many of these jobs are in peat and coal, and the wind is up happening already. But the people and communities whose livelihoods depend on working for State companies, like Bord na Mona and ESB, are bing let down.

This Thursday TD's will debate legislation on the future for workers in these industries. This transition can happen with the Trade Unions in a way that supports workers and builds alternative clean, future proof jobs Or it can be shocking and sudden. Click below to email your TD and ask them to VOTE for this Bill. Ask your TD, to start negotiations NOW with trade unions to deliver security and opportunities for those impacted by the transition to a low carbon economy.

It's 21 years since the Government was first advised to get out of coal and peat, because of the extremely damaging impact on local environments and the climate. In the midlands, An Bord Pleanala, and the Environmental Protection Agency are forcing the closures of peat stations because of this pollution. This is leading to sudden redundancies and job insecurity. The bottom line of companies the state operates for profit is under threat, and its the workers who are being cast aside first.

TD;s have the the power to change this. They can establish a Just Transition Task force to secure the future and livelihoods of workers and their communities in the transition to a low-carbon economy.

The Unions have made it very clear they are up for negotiation, and Friends of the Earth are in lock step with them. Please email your TD and ask the Government to take this seriously and get involved now. In the same way they get involved when a multi national pulls out of Ireland, or with the seriousness with which they are acting over the beef disputes.

Cross-party negotiations deliver 'Good Friday Agreement' for climate action.

Issued in news on March 28, 2019 at 20:45:00.

JOCCA report small cover


Friends of the Earth has welcomed the landmark report of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action, published on Thursday evening.Commenting, Friends of the Earth Director, Oisín Coghlan said

"The Oireachtas has given the Government an historic mandate for serious climate action.

"This is the Good Friday Agreement for Irish climate action. It is a cross-party deal to drive policy and measures to cut pollution across all sectors of the economy and society.

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Upcoming events, and a dig out for the student strikers

Issued in the blog on March 22, 2019 at 01:29:00.

Student Strike Dublin 2019-0315.JPG - Over 10,000 students packed the length of Molesworth Street from the Dáil to Dawson street on 15 March 2019
Over 10,000 students packed the length of Molesworth Street from the Dáil to Dawson street on 15 March 2019

We have quite a few events coming up, so I thought I’d compile them all into one email. There’s a couple in Dublin, one in Cork, and one is nationwide. We’re also planning further events around the country in the coming months.

Don’t Owe – Shouldn’t Pay

Dublin Event
When: Monday March 25th, 6:30pm - 8pm
Where: Connolly Books, 43 Essex Street East, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
More info and register for your free ticket here.

Cork Event
When: Tuesday March 26th, 6:30pm - 8pm
Where: UCC WW9, University College Cork, West Wing Building, Room WW9, Cork
More info and register for your free ticket here.

We’re teaming up with Financial Justice Ireland to bring you a workshop exploring debt relief from international monetary institutions with Heron Belfon, director of Jubilee Caribbean in Grenada.

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How to take part in the Global Climate Strike on Friday 15th March

Issued in news on March 07, 2019 at 02:47:00.

global climate strike 15 March

*Anyone organizing a rally at a townhall, a strike at a school, or planning for a school to attend any of the rallies is encouraged to register their group's participation on this map.*

What is happening on the 15 March?

Greta Thunberg, the 16 year-old Swedish climate activist, whose lone weekly climate strike has become a global movement, has called on everyone to join a global climate strike on Friday 15th March. The protests are being led by students striking from school to call for #ClimateActionNow to meet the tempertature goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement . Many others, young and old, intend coming out in solidarity with the children and students.

What's happening in Ireland?

1pm on Friday 15th March is the central moment in Ireland.

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Here Come the Sun - Power to the People

Issued in the blog on March 05, 2019 at 18:01:00.

Petition handover.JPG

A new law to force electricity companies to pay small renewable energy generators for their power was debated in Leinster House this week. 

It's hard to believe, it doesnt happen already, but small renewable energy generators in Ireland give their electricity to the grid for free if they can't use it all on site immediately. 

Kate Ruddock was giving evidence at the Oireachtas Committee meeting along with Paul Kenny from Tipperary Energy Agency, Jim Gannon from SEAI and Michael Manley from the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment. 

You can watch the debate online here,

or just Kate's speech here

Kate addressing Oireachtas Committee March 2019

"We met Leo Varadkar at Electric Picnic a few years ago. 

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Transitioning to a Low Carbon Climate Resilient Society

Issued in publications on February 21, 2019.

Publication cover - Transitioning to a Low Carbon Climate Resilient Society - Cover image for Transitioning to a Low Carbon Climate Resilient Society

“Community Energy Revolution"

Irish communities are the strongest drivers of the transition to a zero carbon future. The power of local people has been demonstrated repeatedly and it can be done again – to keep Ireland green for current jobs and future generations. Friends of the Earth, Tipperary Energy Agency and the Dingle Sustainable Energy Community have published a "Roadmap for a Community Energy Revolution" in order to galvanise and support local action.

This roadmap underpins political and government initiatives in tackling climate action:

  • For the special all-party Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action which is now finalising its recommendations on translating the recommendations of the Citizens' Assembly into policy, recommendations;
  • For the Government which is finalising its ‘all of government’ approach;

And has been prepared by

Marie Donnelly, former Director for Renewables, Energy Efficiency and Innovation at DG Energy in the European Commission. Current Board member of Tipperary Energy Agency
Brendan Tuohy, Former Secretary General, Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. Current member of Dingle Sustainable Energy Community
Oisin Coghlan, Director, Friends of the Earth


Oisin Coghlan, Director or Friends of the Earth commented,

Hundreds of community groups all across Ireland are coming together to take on the challenge of decarbonising their communities. Ireland excels at the community level,- from the GAA to Tidy Towns. Yet, time and again, community energy groups find themselves straining at the leash, often up against the same State-designed barriers to getting their local sustainable energy projects off the ground' and always lacking in sufficient resources to support the huge local voluntary efforts.'.

'The recommendations that will come from this special
Joint Oireachtas Committee offer a huge opportunity to unleash the potential within our communities and enable and facilitate the citizens of Ireland to take action on climate change. There is huge momentum out there. But it requires support for it to be sustainable if it is to begin to address the scale of the challenges.’

‘Minister Bruton is right when he says citizen engagement is essential, but people and communities across Ireland are becoming increasingly frustrated with the narrative that climate action needs to come from them, without any similar commitment to support these local voluntary efforts and also to remove the State-designed barriers that essentially block them from participating in this transition. This is particularly apparent when it comes to local renewable energy generation.’

Friends of the Earth, Tipperary Energy Agency and the Dingle Sustainable Energy Community, three independent organisations involved in the community sector and committed to transitioning the community to a low carbon future, have collaborated to prepare a report ‘Transitioning to a Low Carbon, Climate Resilient Society’ available here, which sets out a number of actions to support long term, deep engagement at local community level. It details the actions needed from Government and others to break down the many barriers that currently prevent local action on climate change and recommends:

  • Developing a ‘one-stop-shop’ led by climate change officers in every local authority area to provide advice, technical information and practical support for citizens, communities and businesses on their journey to decarbonisation;
  • Setting up a route to the market for community led renewable energy projects.
  • Introducing a fair payment for microgeneration from all technologies that are exported to the grid.
  • Streamlining the technical aspects of local energy generation (planning, grid connection, balancing, etc.)
  • Ensuring the Climate Action Fund includes local community engagement activities, starting with the next call in 2019.

 

Go to download page »

Friends of the Earth Newsletter, January 2019

Issued in the blog on January 28, 2019 at 17:24:00.

Welcome to our newsletter - catch up on what we've achieved over the past few months thanks to your support, time and donations. See what we're planning next and how you can be involved!

Friends of the Earth Campaigns

Tait House award presentation at St Munchin's College-43

Community Energy & Solar Schools

Congratulations to St Munchin's College in Limerick, our first winners of the Solar Schools competition. A fantastic group of students ready to take on the energy transition in their school!

More winners will be announced very soon - watch this space! This exciting pilot project targeted a number of areas where community energy cooperatives are already in existence. The aim of the project is to support schools and communities to power themselves with free renewable electricity generated right from their roof.

Read the full entry »

Solar Schools Competition 2019

Issued in news on January 16, 2019 at 18:12:00.

FoE RoS logo - FoE on bagelThe 2018/2019 Solar Schools competition is now closed.

Five winning schools will be announced soon. Watch this space! 

The winning schools will get solar panels for their school. They will be able to use free power all day generated directly from their roof, so will really reduce their carbon emissions, and during the weekends and holidays they will be able to sell any power they do not use to our partner 'Community Renewable Energy Supply' (Cres). It's really a win win win for the schools and the climate.  

Sadly, not all schools have this opportunity in Ireland. In fact, selling solar power is not an option for most, as there is no requirement for electricity companies to buy solar power generated at small scales. 

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Beat the VAT increase on coffee. Plus a new series of Eco Eye starts tonight.

Issued in the blog on January 08, 2019 at 06:42:00.

Eco eye presenters

Happy New Year.

I'm really optimistic we can make a breakthrough this year on climate action (see below for a preview of the possibilities).

But first, a quick life hack for coffee drinkers! It hasn't been such a good New Year for those of us who look forward to a take-away coffee at some stage during the day. The VAT increase in Budget 2019 has added 9 to 18 cent to the price of a coffee since January first.

Thankfully, there's an easy way to avoid paying the new higher price.

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Let’s make 2019 the year we choose a safer, healthier future.

Issued in the blog on January 01, 2019 at 06:20:00.

Poolbeg sunset by Philip Milne - Poolbeg chimneys. A monument to the sunset industries of the fossil fuel age. Photo by Philip Milne.
Poolbeg chimneys. A monument to the sunset industries of the fossil fuel age. Photo by Philip Milne.

This is the full length version of an article for the Irish Independent

Politicians and the public are paying attention to climate change like never before. A number of factors coming together gives us the opportunity to make 2019 the year Ireland takes climate action seriously.

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Friends of the Earth Newsletter, November 2018

Issued in the blog on November 26, 2018 at 16:06:00.

Welcome to our newsletter - catch up on what we've achieved over the past few months thanks to your support, time and donations. See what we're planning next and how you can be involved!

Community Energy

Publication cover - Factsheet_Run on SunThe way energy is generated, sold and used in Ireland is changing fast. A couple of weeks ago, we asked for your thoughts on buying, investing in and supporting locally owned renewable energy. A million thanks to those of you who took that survey. There is very little Irish research on this topic, so real data from real people is invaluable to us. If you’re interested in the results, you can see them here. slightly smiling face

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