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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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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.

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Response to Department of Environment, Climate and Communications Consultation on EU TEN-E Regulation Proposal

Issued in the blog on February 18, 2021 at 09:24:00.

ten e cover 2021

Decarbonising Ireland's energy system is key to meeting our climate goals. This means reducing energy demand, significantly increasing renewables, electricity interconnection and storage, and making sure people and communities are at the forefront of this transition, particularly the most vulnerable. Friends of the Earth is also clear that rapid phase out of fossil fuels is absolutely essential. Infrastructure decisions at Irish and EU level need to reflect these objectives. Decisions we make on energy infrastructure now will have far-reaching impacts on the pace and scale of our decarbonisation.

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13 years is too long for victims of Shell’s oil spills to wait for justice

Issued in the blog on February 16, 2021 at 17:04:00.

eric_dooh_goi_oil_pollution-e1612803144872

A guest blog by Donald Pols, director of Milieudefensie / Friends of the Earth Netherlands and chair of Friends of the Earth Europe, originally published by CommonDreams

Justice has finally prevailed for the people of the oil-soaked Niger Delta. On Friday 29th January, after a thirteen-year struggle for redress for lives ruined by oil spills, three Nigerian farmers, supported by Milieudefensie/Friends of the Earth Netherlands, beat one of the world’s most powerful transnational corporations, Shell, in court in the Netherlands.

Across Nigeria’s southern Delta region, people who have never heard of the Court of Appeal in the Hague celebrated with victory parties.

But no victim should have to wait thirteen years for justice. Better laws are needed now to give victims quicker and more effective ways to win remedy.

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Have your say on Community Energy - Submit to the Microgeneration Consultation using our handy guide

Issued in the blog on February 04, 2021 at 17:05:00.

FoE Solar Image

We’ve reached a critical juncture in our campaign for renewable, community owned energy. In a matter of months we could finally have a support scheme for small renewable energy microgenerators. But this scheme could end up being very good - or pretty bad. The difference hangs in our collective hands!

We've been campaigning for this type of scheme for years. And now - finally - the Government has agreed that it’s needed!

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Ireland shuts the door on new gas and oil

Issued in news on February 02, 2021 at 13:34:00.

CEM Bill Protest.JPG

Friends of the Earth
For Immediate Release
Tuesday 2nd February 2021

Campaigners welcome the Government’s proposal for a national ban on all future oil and gas exploration and extraction in Ireland.

Ireland will now become the second country in Europe and only the fourth in the world to introduce a definitive national ban through legislation on all fossil fuel exploration [1] In 2017 Ireland took the first steps to legally prohibiting gas extraction with a legal ban on fracking onshore [2]. This next step will extend that ban to any new oil or gas exploration in our offshore waters.

Kate Ruddock, Deputy Director of Friends of the Earth commented,

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Watch it Back: Let's talk Community Energy

Issued in the blog on December 15, 2020 at 15:26:00.

Watch it back CP webinar

Earlier this month we hosted a special webinar on community owned renewable energy. Missed it? Well, don’t worry, we recorded it so you can watch it back at this link or in the screen below.

 We were delighted to be joined by Molly Walsh from Friends of the Earth Europe. Molly shared some inspiring stories from her new book, Community Energy: A practical guide to reclaiming power - which you can download here.

Community Energy book cover

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Let's talk community energy! Webinar and book launch

Issued in the blog on November 30, 2020 at 11:36:00.

Copy of Copy of CP webinar_booklet

Join us for a webinar this week! We'll be launching this stunning handbook for communities from Friends of the Earth Europe, and and exploring the opportunities for Irish communities in the energy transition in 2021 with Minister Eamon Ryan.  

Community energy is key to action on the climate crisis, boosting local economies, and reinvigorating communities. We’ve been campaigning for clean, community energy for a long time. It’s been a tough battle at times but things are finally starting to look bright!

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Catch up on Community Energy - October 2020

Issued in the blog on October 19, 2020 at 11:30:00.

Copy of Catch up on Community Energy FB

After years of campaigning on Community Energy, things are now looking bright! Last month Eirgrid held the first ever Irish renewable electricity auction, which gave the go ahead to 82 wind and solar parks, including two community owned solar parks from our partners at Community Power.

Community Power is Irelands first every 100% renewable and community owned electricity provider. You can switch your home or work electricity provider to Community Energy and know that you are supporting the change with clean, green and sound energy. 

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Catch up on No New Gas - October 2020

Issued in the blog on October 19, 2020 at 11:22:00.

Briefing Note July, 2020 Policy Statement on Fracked Gas and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)

We have 10 years to radically transform our energy system. Cutting our ties with fossil fuels to lower emissions and enable cleaner energy solutions is vital.

Through our work on the No New Gas campaign we have been busy doing extensive research and issuing submissions to European consultations to keep the pressure on decision makers to end fossil fuel dependency.

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