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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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Oil and Gas Drilling: Add your voice to this petition before it's presented tomorrow!

Issued in the blog on July 09, 2018 at 16:49:00.

NHNA logo full name

On Tuesday, the Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action will hold hearings on a Bill to ban exploration for more gas off the Irish coast [1]. The Committee has to decide whether to kill the Bill or progress it to the next stage.

Not Here Not Anywhere (NHNA), a grassroots campaigning group working to protect Ireland's coasts from fossil fuel drilling, have been working tirelessly on this campaign for a year, and will be presenting a petiton to the Chair of this committee tomorrow afternoon.

Their petition currently has just over 3,000 names.

Can you help it reach 4,000?

Hildegarde Naughton TD, Chair of the Committee on Climate Action has agreed to receive the petition when the hearing finishes (sometime between 1:30pm and 2pm we understand).

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'A new hope?' How to turn today's welcome rhetoric on climate action into reality.

Issued in news on June 20, 2018 at 12:42:00.

Naughten and ministers

Commenting on today's Project Ireland 2040 event on climate action, addressed by the Taoiseach and four cabinet ministers, Oisin Coghlan, Director of Friends of the Earth, said

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Government stands indicted by EPA's new climate pollution figures

Issued in news on May 31, 2018 at 12:24:00.

60 NO FEE Stop Climate Chaos

Citizens' Assembly report on climate must be acted on immediately

Friends of the Earth has said that 20 years of government inaction has been exposed by new figures from the EPA which show Ireland will miss its 2020 climate pollution target by 19 percentage points, and that without new policies our emissions will still be higher in 2030 than they were in 1990.

Commenting on the EPA figures, Oisin Coghlan, Director of Friends of the Earth said:

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Power Transfer 2030

Issued in publications on March 28, 2018.

The deployment of wind energy has been the biggest success story of Ireland’s decarbonisation thus far, with approximately 26% of electricity generated coming from this source in 2017. This is only the end of the beginning—a good foundation for the ultimate objective of complete power system decarbonisation. In this policy brief, we assess recent developments with a view to contributing to the debate on the power shift that will occur in the period to 2030.

Under current Government proposals, our key findings are:

  • The pace of power system decarbonisation is likely to be slow over the coming decade because of an over-emphasis on controlling the Public Service Obligation (PSO) Levy. The increase in PSO required for renewables has not resulted in escalating electricity bills up to now, as is often assumed, and a greater pace of renewables deployment could in fact result in lower electricity prices by 2030.
  • There is a robust proposal to promote energy democracy. Opportunities for local communities to collectively develop wind and solar PV projects, and for households to invest in rooftop solar PV, are likely to feature prominently. For citizen energy to work in practice, however, there is a need to promote awareness and up-skilling of communities, and for persistent policy attention over the next decade.
  • Technological diversity is likely to remain low, and the dependence on on-shore wind for power system decarbonisation is likely to persist in the immediate future.

 

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Leo lets us all down on climate change in effort to cosy up to Trump

Issued in news on March 15, 2018 at 19:08:00.

Friends of the Earth has accused Leo Varadkar of dropping a diplomatic clanger on climate change in his effort to cosy up to Trump.

While speaking publicly in the U.S. today, the Taoiseach said he was “happy to take credit” for the rejection of a planning application for a wind farm near Trump’s Doonbeg golf course following a phone call from Mr. Trump asking for Varadkar’s intervention as then Minster for Tourism.

Golf course in Washington State during forest fires in 2017 (CNN)Commenting, Oisin Coghlan, Director of Friends of the Earth said:

"I'm truly shocked by this. When Leo Varadkar said he wanted to talk to Donald Trump about climate change I did not think he meant 'taking credit' for a wind farm not being built near Trump's golf course in Clare.”

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Dáil calls time on fossil fuel exploration in historic vote

Issued in news on February 09, 2018 at 11:38:00.

Climate Emergency Bill demo Concern TYs

Bill to end offshore drilling licences passes first legislative hurdle

The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition has described today's Dáil vote in favour of the Climate Emergency Measures Bill as "historic". The Bill, proposed by People Before Profit TD Brid Smith, would end the issuing of licences to explore for oil and gas in Irish waters. It passed the second stage debate and was referred to the Climate Action Committee by 78 votes to 48, with cross-party support emerging to overcome Government opposition to the Bill.

Stop Climate Chaos spokesperson, Meaghan Carmody, said:

"Leo Varadkar put his Government on the wrong side of history today. The Government clung to the past but they lost. Dáil Eireann voted to take another step towards a fossil fuel free future.

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"The only option was to put my body in between the diggers and the earth"

Issued in the blog on December 08, 2017 at 17:45:00.

Queer bloc at Ende Gelande Nov 2017

A member of Fossil Free TCD went to the UN climate talks in Bonn last month. This is the first of two reports she wrote for us.
I am crouched behind a damp sand bank and can feel my heartbeat in my ears. People shuffle hurriedly in both directions next to me, careful not to slip into the trench behind. I am too terrified to peer over the bank, in case I come face-to-face with a riot cop, and his shield or baton comes crashing into me. I huddle down smaller. Can they see my rucksack over the edge? Someone grabs by elbow violently and I almost shout out - but it is ok. My affinity group is planning our next move. We turn to the hundreds lining the cusp of the pit above, as high up as House 6 from the base: “Which way?” we whisper-scream up at them. “Go left!”, “Left!”, “No cops left!” they shout back, and we are off. Last chance to go back, but we’re up and over and gone. Police far to the right but they’ll never reach us in time. I am running before I know it, and look back for my “buddy” Emma, who has asthma. Her, Tony, and Frodo are close behind. Of course, as it turned out, none of these were their real names.

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Ladybird Expert series on Climate Change - A Summary

Issued in the blog on December 04, 2017 at 16:55:00.

Notes on: Climate Change, by Tony Juniper and Emily Shuckburgh  

Ladybird Expert series 2017, (52 pages including some illustrations)

 

Summarised by:

Paul Donnelly, August 2017

Paul was a highly respected, committed member of Dublin Friends of the Earth and suddenly passed away in November 2017. He spent much of his time collating information about climate change in order to make the topic more accessible for people. May he rest in peace.

 

Background:

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Friends of the Earth is "appalled" by latest climate pollution figures from EPA

Issued in news on November 27, 2017 at 14:41:00.

2017-11 EPA website barchart on 2016 emissions

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has today released the figures for Ireland's climate-changing pollution in 2016.

They make for grim reading - with emissions up across the board and a 3.5% total increase year-on-year.

Speaking at the EPA event to publich the figures, Dr. Cara Augustenborg, Head of Science and Communications for Friends of the Earth, commented:

"We are appalled by today's EPA figures for Ireland's greenhouse gas emissions in 2016. Our climate pollution is rising at around 3.5% a year when the Government's own target means they should be coming down by 5% a year.

"Of the handful of EU countries who are going to miss their 2020 climate targets, Ireland is the only Member State whose emissions are still rising.

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A scare in time?

Issued in the blog on November 02, 2017 at 01:30:00.

Ophelia

The scariest thing I saw this Halloween was this new report about carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. The last time CO2 stayed this high, sea levels were 20 metres higher than they are today.

But there is hope . Research also reported this week concludes "an energy transformation big enough and fast enough to curb global warming remains within reach. Better still, we do not need to wait for new inventions to implement the changes we need; the transformation can happen right now".

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