Dail fracking ban a great victory for local campaigners, boost for global climate movement

Issued in news on May 31, 2017 at 17:06:00.

Mr Frackhead outside Dail 2017-14

Dáil passes fracking ban in a great victory for local campaigners
Historic move a boost for global climate movement

Commenting, Friends of the Earth Ireland's Deputy Director, Kate Ruddock, said

"This ban is a great victory for the local campaigners who have mobilized and educated themselves, their communities and their elected representatives on the threat fracking poses to local water, regional employment and global climate. It's a real honour for us to work alongside them to progress this Bill in parliament.

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Do you want to help Friends of the Earth blossom at Bloom?

Issued in the blog on May 17, 2017 at 11:35:00.

bee-on-blue-flower-cropped

Friends of the Earth is looking for volunteers to help educate visitors at Bloom in the Park in Phoenix Park, Dublin from June 1-5 . We’ll be presenting our postcard garden ‘ The Bright Side of Life’ to Bloom visitors and
educating them about the need to create chemical-free food, shelter and nesting spots for beneficial insects in their gardens.

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Bee-friendly and win tickets to Bloom!

Issued in the blog on May 12, 2017 at 12:26:00.

bee-on-blue-flower-cropped

With bees in trouble worldwide, bee-friendly gardening can play a vital role in supporting these essential pollinators.

That’s why Friends of the Earth plans to create a nature garden at Ireland’s largest family, food and gardening festival, Bloom in the Park from June 1-5, but we need your help to make it happen!

We’ve partnered with 2016 RTE SuperGarden finalist and permaculture expert, Suzie Cahn, to propose a nature-friendly ‘postcard garden’ at Bloom called The Bright Side of Life. Our nature education garden would showcase how you provide food, shelter and nesting places for important pollinators like bees and other insects.

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Bill to Ban Fracking in Ireland passes another major legislative hurdle today

Issued in news on May 09, 2017 at 17:43:00.

Mr Frackhead outside the Dail graphic

A major success for environmental campaigners in Ireland

Progress of this Private Members Bill a testament to New Politics

Friends of the Earth has welcomed the Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Action and the Environment’s decision to pass a Bill which would ban hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas in Ireland today. This marks the ‘third stage’ or ‘committee stage’ debate on this Bill.

The proposed Bill received unanimous support from the Dail late last year, and a public consultation undertaken earlier this year also received overwhelming support with 8,000 submissions received in favour of legislating to ban fracking in Ireland compared to one submission which opposed it.

Kate Ruddock, Deputy Director of Friends of the Earth said

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Air Quality Submission - Dubln FoE

Issued in publications on May 01, 2017.

Publication cover - Air Quality Submission - Dubln FoE - Cover image for Air Quality Submission - Dubln FoE

“When breathing is bad for our health...

...it's  time to end air pollution”

 

Dublin Friends of the Earth
News Release
Monday 1 May 2017

As alarming evidence grows of the health damage caused by air pollution, Dublin Friends of the Earth is calling on the Department of Environment and Climate Action to agree strong and decisive action in its first-ever proposed National Clean Air Strategy. The Government has a duty of care to protect all of us, and especially the most vulnerable, including the very young and the elderly.

Dr. Matt Robinson, a member of Dublin Friends of the Earth, commented:

“Most air pollution in Ireland today is invisible but it affects everyone – motorists and taxi drivers as well as pedestrians and cyclists, children and parents at school gates as well as people with asthma and other chronic illnesses. Our health, our health budgets and our climate will all benefit from strong and coordinated measures to end this pollution.”

Debora O'Connor, a member of Dublin Friends of the Earth, added:

“The evidence is now indisputable that poor air quality is a public health issue that requires genuine leadership from our politicians and energy, health, and transport agencies. Given the right policies, the public will make the right choices to protect ourselves and our environment.”

When Minister Denis Naughten returns to his desk on Tuesday, the 12 page submission from Dublin Friends of the Earth to his Department's Cleaning Our Air public consultation, which closed on Friday, will await him. It explains the serious problems of air pollution in Ireland and the major solutions to it – and highlights how reducing air pollution by phasing out the burning of coal, oil and peat will also stop our rising climate emissions, now the third highest per person in the EU.

The problems of air pollution in Ireland include:

  • 1,500 premature deaths a year, according to the WHO. [1]
  • Serious risks of heart diseases, stroke, respiratory diseases and lung cancer.
  • Grossly inadequate information on outdoor air quality, for example ag school gates, train stations and heavy traffic junctions. Ireland has only 31 air monitoring stations compared to Scotland's 88, and no real time information displays for the public.
  • Growing evidence of diesel pollution by particulates that have no safe level.
  • Most residential air pollution 'hot spots' are in areas of poverty and deprivation.

The solutions to air pollution in Ireland include:

  • Replacing toxic fossil fuels with clean energy in transport, residential heating and power generation will end most air pollution and reduce climate change disasters.
  • Providing adequate air quality information by a large increase in air monitoring stations – more than planned by the Dept – and easy public access to real-time information online, on mobile apps and on the electronic displays that provide parking information to motorists.
  • A really ambitious programme of energy retrofits to our homes and other buildings – which could save us €2.4 billion in energy costs in the future, according to SEAI. [2]
  • Community energy schemes to enable solar, wind and other clean technologies for homes, schools, sports clubs and business – and to allow communities to make money on them.
  • Big transport investment in cycling and clean public transport instead of more roads.

Public awareness of the dangers of air pollution is growing as cities across Europe restrict diesel cars and levy congestion charges. In Ireland, we know very well that Government intervention to protect us from pollution works – the smoky coal ban will go nationwide next year, and we led the world on the plastic bag levy and on indoor smoking bans. Dublin Friends of the Earth is urging Minister Naughten and his Department to follow the public consultation with action on Cleaning Our Air– not with a few token measures but with dozens of changes that can make our homes, our streets and the air we breathe in every corner of the country safer for all of us. 

References:

[1] http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2014/air-pollution/en/

[2] http://www.seai.ie/Publications/Statistics_Publications/Energy_Modelling_Group_Publications/Ireland%e2%80%99s-Energy-Targets-Progress-Ambition-and-Impacts.pdf

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Naughten's climate plan is an 'F'-ing disgrace

Issued in the blog on April 19, 2017 at 17:55:00.

FoE_F_Rating_2_HiResIf Minister Naughten's draft climate plan was a fridge-freezer it would get an F-rating.

Click here to tell him we want a new plan that we can be proud of.

After 6 years Enda Kenny's Government has finally published a draft climate plan. But it's so awful it's embarrassing. In the face of the greatest threat humanity faces Ireland is looking for a free ride.

It's not really a plan at all, it reads like a discussion document. And it doesn't actually adopt any new actions to reduce Ireland's emissions.

Our political leaders are putting vested interests ahead of the public interest. And they are counting on the public not paying attention.

We want your help to prove them wrong.

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Bill to Ban Fracking one step closer to becoming law

Issued in news on April 12, 2017 at 16:38:00.

Ban Fracking Report April 2017-16

Friends of the Earth
Press Release
12 Apr 2017

Bill to Ban Fracking one step closer to becoming law

Campaigners welcome Oireachtas Committee Report on the proposed Bill to Ban Fracking

Environmental campaigners from Friends of the Earth and Love Leitrim welcome the Oireachtas Committee report launched today on the detailed scrutiny of the proposed Bill to Ban Fracking. The campaigners fought with Mr Frackhead, a large puppet representing the corporate fossil fuel lobby outside the Dail today to demonstrate their support for the Bill to ban fracking, and to show there is no place for fossil fuels in Ireland's future.

Kate Ruddock, Deputy Director at Friends of the Earth, said,

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‘Social Acceptance of Wind Energy Projects’

Issued in the blog on April 04, 2017 at 12:37:00.

SEAI & IEA Task 28 Seminar, ‘Social Acceptance of Wind Energy Projects’

29/03/17, Clayton Hotel Burlington Road:    

David West, Dublin Friends of the Earth

 

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What's possible in just one hour?

Issued in the blog on March 24, 2017 at 16:27:00.

Earth Rise


This Saturday is the 10th annual Earth Hour, when people turn off their lights in a "a global moment of solidarity for climate action", as President Michael D Higgins called it today.

As a supporter of Friends of the Earth you know that symbols can be important, but they only get you so far in the struggle to shift Ireland to a more sustainable path. Our fight for a fossil free future is fought week in, week out against political indifference, bureaucratic inertia and vested interests.

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Plan shows Government in Denial over Climate Change

Issued in news on March 15, 2017 at 19:07:00.

draft NMP 2017

5 years in the making, climate "action plan" contains no new actions to reduce pollution

Enda Kenny just doesn't get climate change. We can only hope his successor as Taoiseach does

Responding to the publication today of the Government's long-awaited draft National Mitigation Plan to cut climate-changing emissions, Friends of the Earth Director, Oisin Coghlan said:

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