Peat.

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

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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.

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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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Start the Conversation with a Book

Issued in the blog on July 29, 2019 at 22:17:00.

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Books are a great way to learn about the world and ourselves, and can often spark deeper discussions.

Talking about environmental issues such as climate change isn't always easy, so books can be a good way to start the conversation.

Our first ever book club series seems to be going quite well. We've hosted physical events in Dublin, Wicklow and Belfast and have engaged with many of you online through our webinars. Because we can't always meet in person, we're trying out new ways to connect.

Climate Generation Book Club Panel.JPGOn March 28th, we launched our book club at the Fumbally Stables in Dublin, joined by author and activist Lorna Gold to discuss her book ‘Climate Generation, Awakening to our Children’s Future’.

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Movement Building, Skill Sharing and Collaborating

Issued in the blog on July 29, 2019 at 16:59:00.

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A lot the work we do at Friends of the Earth involves working closely with grassroots activists groups, we do this because we see the importance of collaboration and relationship building to strenghten and build on the movement we are a part of.

Training Links Programme

Through our ongoing courses we have been actively enaging people in environmental issues, connecting the dots and offering opportunities for people to gain skills and knowledge so they can take action on the issues they care about.

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Climate Emergency to Action Plan

Issued in the blog on July 29, 2019 at 16:19:00.

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As secretariat members of the Stop Climate Chaos coalition, we have been very active over the last number of months, campaigning for strong climate action and legislation. Here's a summary!

Climate Action plan

While eagerly awaiting the Climate Action plan, we put together five tests or indicators of how serious the Government is taking climate action seriously, and effective the Plan will be in bringing down emissions pollution. The Government’s new Climate Action Plan was published in mid-June to much fanfare, and in July, we published our assessment of the Plan, in collaboration with the Environmental Pillar. A summary of our report is available here and the full report is available here.

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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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Growing Together, Building Solidarity Through Food

Issued in the blog on July 25, 2019 at 12:28:00.

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The Growing Together project, which aims to engage young people on the topic of food production, have been busy networking and training over the past few months. Here's a round-up of what they've been up to.

CAP - Let's Lift the Lid

In the lead up to the European elections the Growing Together project hosted a training on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in partnership with Foodture called 'CAP - Let's Lift the Lid'. The event featured a Fair Food Feast with all food sourced from local, sustainable farmers and a photo exhibition featuring the farmers who grew the food.

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Another Win for Community Power!

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

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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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On the Road to Plastic Free!

Issued in the blog on July 23, 2019 at 12:08:00.

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Breaking free from plastic is not just a personal journey, it's a global movement of millions of people pushing for bigger action on plastic production, consumption and waste.

And we have some good news to share!

In May 2019 the EU formally approved a pioneer legislation to curb single-use plastics and earlier this month the EU Single Use Plastic (SUP) Directive was adopted and made law. Member states, including Ireland, now have two years to adopt it into Irish law and ensure we are on track to reach its targets.

This milestone is all thanks to plastic free campaigners who demanded change from industry and government all across Europe.

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Active Hope - Two Webinars and One Event

Issued in the blog on July 17, 2019 at 14:45:00.

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Active Hope is something we do. And we're doing it together.

This month, we've been reading 'Active Hope' by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone and last week we hosted an online discussion with Chris Johnstone to introduce Active Hope, you can watch the recording here at this link.

In this webinar, Chris shares what inspired him to write the book and how it was born from a series of conversations with Joanna Macy. Chris was curious to find out what can we do to help us adequately respond to the climate crisis while sustaining our actions.

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