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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, that they had done it! But they haven't. 

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

Please email him today, 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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Peat.

Issued in the blog on August 13, 2019 at 12:53:00.

issue-ireandspeatlands7-byjoannapaterson

Friends of the Earth objected to ESB's proposal for a peat and biomass plant at Shannonbridge West Offaly. The idea that Ireland would import chopped up trees and woody materials from all over the world to burn alongside dried out peat in order to produce electricity was unconscionable. Our bogs are Ireland's equivalent of the Amazon rainforest. Our biodiversity hotspots. Fragile ecosystems bursting with plants and animals not found anywhere else AND they serve as natural carbon sinks, sucking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere helping us to combat climate breakdown.

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Taoiseach urged to establish Just Transition Taskforce as he addresses forum on 'Decent Work'

Issued in news on July 30, 2019 at 07:48:00.

ITUC FoEI event COP23

Taoiseach to address forum today on "Decent Work" - Sustainable Development Goal 8

Friends of the Earth and school strikers Fridays For Future send Leo a joint letter

Friends of the Earth has urged An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to use the occasion today of his address on Sustainable Development Goal 8 on “Decent Work and Economic Growth” at the Stakeholder Forum on the Sustainable Development Goals in Dublin Castle to announce the immediate establishment of a Just Transition Taskforce to address the issues faced by the workers and communities in Clare and the Midlands, where workers at coal-fired and peat-fired power stations are facing layoffs and redundancies.

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions adopted a resolution earlier this month calling for a Just Transition Commission that ensures all relevant voices are heard and included, and puts social dialogue and collective bargaining at the centre of the transition away from fossil fuels. The landmark all-party Oireachtas report in March recommended a Just Transition Taskforce with an independent Chairperson to bring Government, the unions, the ESB, Bord Na Móna and all the stakeholders around the same table.

This month alone ESB has announced plans to lay off over half the workforce in Moneypoint, the Lough Ree peat station has been closed by the EPA and An Bord Pleanála has refused permission to extend the life of the West Offaly peat station beyond 2020. But far the Government has failed to implement the recommendation of the Oireachtas Committee, which was chaired by Fine Gael TD Hildegarde Naughton and includes Fine Gael TD for Offaly, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy. Instead the Government has referred the issue to a study group in NESC and to Offaly County Council's Regional Transition Team, which doesn't even include representatives from the Trade Unions.

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Solar Schools are Championing Community Power

Issued in the blog on July 26, 2019 at 13:09:00.

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In 2018 we launched our Solar Schools competition, where five schools won solar panels so that they can power themselves with renewable energy straight from their rooftops.

Schools will be excited to know we will be launching a second competition in September, so even more schools can generate their own energy! Every winning school receives a 90% grant for their solar panels and all of the technical and bureaucratic support needed for the installation of the solar panels.

This competition is an excellent opportunity for communities to participate in renewable energy generation, and schools are the ideal place for valuable community-based education to occur. The competition will play an important role in encouraging communities to take the first step on their sustainable energy journey.

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Another Win for Community Power!

Issued in the blog on July 23, 2019 at 13:27:00.

solar house1

Thanks to the generosity and action of our supporters, real change is now on the horizon.

Six weeks ago we emailed our supporters to tell them about a family home in Limerick that was forced to take down their solar panels becuase of a breach in planning permission rules. We asked you to chip in to help fund an appeal to change the rules. In order to unlock the potential for solar we need to break down lots of barriers like this. 

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Leo's Legacy: a hitman for the fossil fuel industry

Issued in news on July 04, 2019 at 19:00:00.

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.

Varadkar chooses the climate vandals over the climate vanguard, as Government kills Climate Emergency Bill

Friends of the Earth has described An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar as a "Climate Vandal" and a "hitman for the fossil fuel industry" after the Cabinet today used an arcane parliamentary procedure to prevent any further debate on the Climate Emergency Bill for the duration of this Oireachtas and this Government. The Bill, which the Dáil has twice voted to progress to Third Stage, would end the issuing of new licences to explore for oil and gas in Irish waters.

Responding to media reports of the Cabinet decision, Oisín Coghlan, Director of Friends of the Earth said:

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Environmentalists can't promote carbon tax increases if Government promotes new fossil fuel exploration

Issued in news on June 26, 2019 at 11:52:00.

Friends of the Earth
For immediate release
26 June 2019

Environmentalists can't promote carbon tax increases if Government promotes new fossil fuel exploration


Fine Gael position is "either immoral or implausible"

The Environmental Pillar of Social Partnership has told Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe at today's National Economic Dialogue (NED) in Dublin Castle that environmentalists will find it difficult if not impossible to promote an increase in the consumer carbon tax if the Government continues to block debate on the Climate Emergency Bill which would end the issuing of new licences to explore for more fossil fuels which we cannot afford to burn.

Speaking at the NED, Oisin Coghlan, a spokesperson for the Environmental Pillar said:

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Hands up 4 Solar Schools

Issued in news on May 24, 2019 at 16:16:00.

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Friends of the Earth think every school should be able to be a Solar School. To lead on climate action and power themselves with clean, free electricity generated right from their rooftop. This year we are helping 5 schools to go Solar. Next year we will help 26!

If you want your school to be powered with solar power, and think others should be able to too, then we need you!

Fill in our survey and register for our Solar Schools competition launching in September 2019 where we will help 26 schools with ALL the technical and bureacratic adminstration of the installation and 90% of the cost!

Hands up 4 solar schools

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Friends of the Earth calls for public to support the school climate strikers NGO launches solar schools campaign

Issued in news on May 24, 2019 at 16:09:00.

FoEE supports the strikes

Friends of the Earth has written to its 26,000 subscribers calling on them to support the youth climate strikers today in any way they can [1].


The environmental organisation has today launched a "Hands up 4 Solar Schools" campaign for schools interested in leading the energy transition and powering themselves with clean, renewable energy generated right from their rooftop. This follows a project where 5 schools will go solar in 2019, and 26 more will be chosen by the end of the year.

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If you do one thing to support the climate strikers today ...

Issued in the blog on May 24, 2019 at 01:52:00.

Friends of the Earth supports the schools strikes 4 climate

Vote.

If you do one thing to support the school climate strikers today, vote. Almost all of the school climate strikers are too young to vote. But it's their future that is at stake. So if you have a vote today, please use your power. Elections are won by those that show up. Show up for the future. Vote for the candidates that you think will prioritize the future of the kids on the streets today.

Then please do show your support for the strikers online:

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share-facebook

FoEE supports the strikes

And if you can join them on the streets please do.

Here are the latest details of the strikes around the country:

Final SCAN info 24 May
                  Final FFF info 24 May

Listen to this Friends of the Earth Europe podcast with strikers:

FoEE Soundcloud podcast on school strikes.PNG

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Let's make Friday a Friday for the Future

Issued in the blog on May 22, 2019 at 10:08:00.

It's an emergency now act like it

Our politicians have declared a climate and biodiversity emergency. Now we have to get them to act like it.

This Friday we have the levers of power.

1) You can support the second global school strike.

2) You can #voteclimate and #votenature in the European Parliament elections.

One out, all out

On March 15th, over 1.6 million people across the world took part in the first global school strike for climate in over 120 countries, with at least 15,000 in Ireland, and the next Global Climate Strike is this Friday 24th May.

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