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.

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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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Communities are fed up picking up plastic litter, ready to name and shame producers.

Issued in news on September 11, 2019 at 18:27:00.

Brand audit is the new cleanup

Over the next two weeks, and to mark World Clean Up Day on September 21st, environmental organisations are inviting communities across the world to take part in a brand audit – it’s like a clean-up, but better.

It’s time producers take responsibility for the plastic waste they are dumping onto the planet.

Through this Brand Audit, data collected by ‘Break Free From Plastic’, a global network of organisations, will be used to name and shame producers who are creating the most waste.

Pressure will be put on governments to legislate for producer fees to be increased globally and to adopt more effective legislation to incentivise companies to adopt more sustainable packaging practices and to encourage consumers to reduce their use of single-use plastics and packaging.

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Support the Climate Strike Movement!

Issued in the blog on September 11, 2019 at 13:15:00.

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It's a Climate Emergency.

And on September 20th, we're filling the streets.

On Friday the 15th of March 2019 1.6 million people took part in a global climate strike in more than 125 countries in more than 2,000 locations. In Ireland more than 15,000 students took part in protests for urgent climate action.

This September 20th, we're going to smash that number. But we need you to make that happen!

Find and join your nearest strike!

School-age students have self-organised marches around the country and they need you to attend. 

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11 Sept 7pm - Talk with Dublin FoE Activist Group: Title: Earth in Crisis - Humanity at a Crossroads.

Issued in the blog on September 11, 2019 at 12:52:00.

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Dublin Friends of the Earth is delighted to invite you to a talk next Wednesday 11th September at 7pm sharp.

Title: Earth in Crisis - Humanity at a Crossroads.

The main speaker will be Fergal Costello (DFoE), who will give an illustrated talk on climate change plus ecological degradation and what we can do about it. We will also have valuable contributions from a student climate activist as well as Aine O'Gorman from Stop Climate Chaos.

Venue: The Teachers' Club, 36 Parnell Square West, Dublin 1.

Don't miss it - a definite date for your diary in advance of the big climate protest in Dublin on 20th September!

Our Green Messenger Days are Over

Issued in news on August 20, 2019 at 11:15:00.

Friends of the Earth will not be joining Electric Picnic as Green Messengers this year. After much thought and discussion, it was decided that because of our limited resources and capacity we feel our energy should be placed in supporting the grassroots climate movement rather than sustainability at festivals.

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It was great fun to be part of the Electric Picnic team over the years, and we met so many great people, but we feel that we did everything we could have done and wish the best of luck to those who step in to take over.

Thanks so much to everyone who volunteered with us over the past three years helping gather support and create awareness on our campaigns.

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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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