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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. 

"Our Energy Future" project launched by Friends of the Earth, EirGrid and RGI

Issued in news on December 06, 2021 at 16:36:00.

OEF PR 1

Today, EirGrid, Friends of the Earth and the Renewables Grid Initiative (RGI) have announced the launch of a joint project to engage communities and groups around the country on Ireland’s energy transition.

Ireland now has in place the strongest climate action programme the country has ever seen, including a commitment to increase the share of renewable electricity to up to 80% by 2030. This will involve a transformation of Ireland’s grid infrastructure and require an energy transition which empowers citizens and supports open, equal and meaningful community participation.

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Government decision to develop new fossil gas plants hugely concerning

Issued in news on November 30, 2021 at 18:14:00.

gas

Commenting on today’s Irish Times’ report about the Government’s decision to develop seven new fossil gas plants, Jerry MacEvilly, Head of Policy at Friends of the Earth said:

“This Government decision to support further fossil gas generation is hugely concerning and merits much more rigorous reporting and questioning by media outlets like the Irish Times who covered the story today.

Any story about new fossil gas infrastructure must come back to the fact that locking-in more fossil gas runs counter to our Paris Agreement objectives to limit global heating to 1.5 degrees.

The Government must be clear on how they intend to minimise the use of gas plants, and on how they will ensure transparency when it comes to the polluting emissions associated with these plants.

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Sinn Fein fracking Bill 'meaningless' without commitment to prevent Executive adopting a petroleum policy that could grant licences in coming weeks

Issued in news on November 29, 2021 at 20:12:00.

stop fracking

Friends of the Earth has welcomed Sinn Fein’s introduction today of the first stage of a Bill to ban fracking in the Northern Ireland Assembly. The environmental campaigning organisation has warned, however, that it will be a “meaningless gesture” unless the party commits to preventing the Stormont Executive adopting a policy in favour of petroleum licencing, a policy option which DUP Minister of Economy Gordon Lyons has pledged to bring forward before Christmas.

James Orr, Director of Friends of the Earth Northern Ireland commented:

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Ireland joins "Beyond Oil & Gas Alliance" during COP26 Climate Talks

Issued in news on November 11, 2021 at 12:45:00.

Untitled (Facebook Post)

Ireland has become a member of the first diplomatic initiative to phase out fossil fuel extraction

Today at the COP26 UN climate talks in Glasgow, Ireland has joined the world’s first diplomatic initiative focused on keeping fossil fuels in the ground, established by Denmark and Costa Rica. Called the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance, (BOGA) the initiative brings together countries that have taken steps to ending new licensing rounds for oil and gas exploration and production. It is the first such initiative to recognise the need for governments to manage the phase out of fossil fuel production in order to respond to the climate crisis and align with Paris Agreement commitments.

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Update on Power to the People

Issued in the blog on November 05, 2021 at 08:52:00.

Tug of War - Activists outside Leinster House illustrate the
Activists outside Leinster House illustrate the "tug-of-war" between fossil fuels and renewables for the future of Irish energy policy

The energy of the future must be renewable but it should also be community owned! Our Power to the People campaign is focused on making it possible for communities, schools and grassroots organisations to own, generate, use and sell their own electricity.

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Update on No New Gas

Issued in the blog on November 05, 2021 at 08:33:00.

group 2

No New Gas is our campaign to stop Ireland getting locked into fossil fuel use for decades to come - and to stop Ireland becoming an important facilitator of fracked gas transport around the globe. We’re campaigning to block the development of new fossil fuel infrastructure, such as LNG import terminals that would allow fracked gas to be imported from the US into Ireland.

No New Fossil Fuel Infrastructure - and the looming spectre of data centres
Data centres have emerged as a major threat to Ireland’s climate targets and efforts to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. In the last four years data centres have gobbled up enough electricity to power 560,000 homes. Projections for their future power demands are even more alarming. Urgent intervention is needed. We’ve been raising alarm bells in the media about data centres this autumn, you might like to listen back to our director, Oisín talking about data centres on Newstalk Breakfast here and on Virgin Media’s Tonight Show here.

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Friends of the Earth calls on Irish Government to join the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance at COP26

Issued in the blog on November 04, 2021 at 11:13:00.

BOGA

Friends of the Earth has written to Minister Ryan and Minister Coveney, calling on Ireland to join the newly formed Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance of states.

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We're Hiring! We're recruiting an Energy Policy Officer

Issued in the blog on October 26, 2021 at 10:51:00.

We're hiring - Energy Policy Officer

Friends of the Earth Ireland is recruiting an Energy Policy Officer who will lead our policy analysis and advocacy related to the decarbonisation of the energy and heating sectors. This means focusing not only on Ireland’s climate and energy commitments but also addressing the root causes of social and environmental injustice and prioritising support for the most vulnerable.

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Budget 2022 comment piece for the Irish Daily Star

Issued in the blog on October 13, 2021 at 11:37:00.

Oisin op-ed Daily Star 2021-1013

The most important news in Budget 2022 when it comes to climate action is something that isn’t happening. The increase in carbon tax won’t apply to home heating fuels – coal, peat briquettes, oil and gas – until next summer. Thankfully then, the Budget won’t add to the increasing energy costs we are all facing this winter.

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Budget just one small step on climate action. Bigger decisions to come later this month

Issued in news on October 12, 2021 at 18:26:00.

Budget 2022.JPG

Increase in fuel allowance to tackle energy poverty essential given rising prices

Friends of the Earth has welcomed a number of measures in Budget 2022 but emphasised that it is just one small step on the path to eliminating climate pollution. The environmental justice organisation particularly welcomed the measures to protect those at risk of energy poverty and the introduction of half-price public transport for 19-23 year olds.

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

“We have to cut our emissions in half by 2030 and it is imperative we do that in ways that reduce poverty and inequality.

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