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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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Shannon Fracked gas project eviscerated at Eu Commission

Issued in news on October 18, 2019 at 17:12:00.

Breaking: Justification for Controversial Shannon Fracked Gas Terminal Eviscerated at European Commission Meeting Yesterday

Citing climate impacts, Sweden pulls LNG project off European Union’s energy projects of common interest list; Ireland must follow suit and reject fracked gas Shannon LNG terminal

Irish government now has until October 23 to remove Shannon terminal off European Union’s list for subsidies and permitting fastrack

 

On Thursday October 17, it was revealed at a European Commission meeting that the US fracked gas Shannon LNG import terminal is on the European Projects of Common Interest (PCI) list, without assessing climate or sustainability impacts. Two other gas projects connected to Shannon LNG were shown to be taken off the list.

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Delay in carbon tax gives Government chance to make it fair

Issued in news on October 08, 2019 at 18:04:00.

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Carbon tax rise welcome, but one small piece of the jigsaw

  • Ringfencing must be put into law, and should be all carbon tax revenue not just the increase
  • Rate increases to 2030 must be guaranteed by legislation
  • Delay to application on home heating fuels welcome, due to lack of preparation to protect those vulnerable to the change
  • Minister must now sit down with SVP and other groups to figure out how best to protect those most affected and enable them to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels.
  • 10% increase in Fuel Allowance welcome - should be rebranded as Carbon Tax Cashback in 2020

Appointment of a Just Transition Commissioner welcome but ...

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Carbon tax must tackle energy poverty and Just Transition

Issued in news on October 08, 2019 at 10:17:00.

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5 tests for Budget's climate credibility

Friends of the Earth has warned that unless today's Budget tackles energy poverty and kickstarts a Just Transition for peat workers, the reported plans for a small increase in the carbon tax risk alienating people while doing little to reduce emissions.

Commenting on media reports that the Budget will raise the carbon tax from €20 to €26 a tonne, Friends of the Earth Director, Oisín Coghlan commented:

"A rise of €6 in the carbon tax is not enough to reduce emissions on its own. Key to the Budget's climate credibility therefore is how the Government plans to spend the revenue and how clear its commitment to future increases is."

The environmental justice organization has set out 5 tests for Budget 2020:

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What's driving the fracking boom? Spoiler: it's plastic!

Issued in the blog on October 07, 2019 at 18:39:00.

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Last week 4,500 people took the email action to tell our politicians that we don't want to import fracked gas!

Public pressure is working! On Friday we got the debate in the Dail, and now Government must undertake a review of Irish energy security before any further support for the Shannon LNG project can proceed.

We need to keep the pressure on, to make sure the review is independent and Paris Aligned. This fight is only beginning.

If you haven't yet signed our petition to Stop Shannon LNG (the terminal planned to import gas) please take action now and share it widely with your friends.

Read the full entry »

Don't let the Government bypass the Dáil on fracked gas

Issued in the blog on October 02, 2019 at 07:17:00.

I really need you to email your TD today.

The Government is trying to lock Ireland into importing fracked gas for decades - WITHOUT ANY DÁIL DEBATE.

They plan to send officials to Brussels on Friday to approve special treatment for plans to build gas import terminals on the west coast, against the advice of EU experts, and before the Dáil gets the chance to discuss it.

I'll tell my TD that's not good enough

Yesterday Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil voted against making time to debate a special motion on the issue this week.

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Decision to end oil exploration by Taoiseach is welcome: 'an important signal to investors'

Issued in news on September 23, 2019 at 18:58:00.

Troy Williams oil rig - httpswww.flickr.comphotostroy_williams20404556414 (1)

Taoiseach's announcement on oil exploration at UN Summit a welcome step

But no room for new gas either says Friends of the Earth

Friends of the Earth has welcomed the announcement by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at the UN Climate Action Summit that Ireland will end the exploration for oil in Irish waters [1].

Commenting, Friends of the Earth Director, Oisín Coghlan said:

"The Taoiseach has sent an important signal to investors that Ireland accepts the majority of fossil fuels have to stay in the ground if we are to contain climate change.

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Taoiseach should announce moratorium on new oil and gas exploration at UN Climate Summit

Issued in news on September 16, 2019 at 09:57:00.

Troy Williams oil rig - httpswww.flickr.comphotostroy_williams20404556414 (1)

Ireland has a rare opportunity to show real climate leadership

Friends of the Earth has called on the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to announce a moratorium on new licences for offshore exploration for oil and gas when he speaks at the special UN Summit on Climate Action this day week in New York. Before the summer the Government used a parliamentary procedure to block further debate on a Bill that would ban new exploration for good, but has now written to the Climate Change Advisory Council requesting their advice on exploration policy. The environmental campaign group proposed the moratorium at a meeting with the Taoiseach last week, arguing it should remain in place until the Council has completed its advice and a new Dáil can reconsider the issue after the General Election.

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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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