Overwhelming majority of Irish people think EU should boycott Russian gas

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Three times as many people want more renewables rather than another source of gas


81% of people in Ireland think the EU should consider boycotting Russian gas as part of the sanctions to oppose Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, according to an opinion poll carried out by Ireland Thinks for Friends of the Earth. Asked what the EU should prioritise to replace Russian gas, a majority (61%) of respondents said develop more renewable energy compared to only a small minority who supported building LNG terminals in Ireland to import gas by ship.

The poll was among a representative sample of the Irish population on Friday March 4th with a sample size of 1,011 and therefore margin of error of +/- 3%. Full details of the poll are online here [1].

Commenting on the results, Jerry Mac Evilly, Head of Policy at Friends of the Earth said:

“We already knew that our continued reliance on oil and gas has been driving the climate crisis and hurting the most vulnerable. Now we know it’s also funding the Russian war machine.

“For years campaigners have said it would take a mix of a moonshot approach and a war-effort to get us off polluting, expensive fossil fuels. We didn’t expect it would take an actual war in Europe to drive that point home.

“It’s now essential we get off gas as soon as possible by accelerating development of renewable energy and massively increasing supports for people to make their homes warmer and more energy efficient, particularly those on lower incomes.

“The EU Commission will publish proposals this week to reduce the EU’s reliance on Russian oil and gas. The right approach both strategically and for the people of Ukraine is to bring Russia’s fossil fuel dominance to an end. However, it would be the height of folly if the European response was to sink more money into new LNG infrastructure that will take years to build and last for decades.

“The solution to a gas-fuelled crisis cannot be more gas and more dependency on petro-states. More fossil fuel infrastructure is not the same as more security [2,3]. Fossil fuel infrastructure would either lock us into expensive gas markets and polluting emissions or become stranded assets in the future, both of which run the risk of more insecurity and higher costs for citizens. This must be a central focus of the Government’s ongoing energy security review.

“I’m also struck by overnight plans from plans from the Department of Agriculture to enable farmers to grow more grains to feed their cattle, while the Department of Housing has dragged its heels for three years to get more solar panels on roofs. I hope Minister O’Brien gets the new memo on the war-effort mentality. Solar is essential to reducing our gas demand and supporting communities to take climate action.”

poll 1

poll image 2

As part of the same polling, Ireland Thinks found that 66% of people are “prepared to accept a higher cost of living as a result of action being taken to support Ukraine against the Russian invasion”. That result was published in the Sunday Independent on March 6th.



1. Full details of the poll are online here: https://www.foe.ie/assets/files/pdf/ireland_thinks_poll_results_on_russian_gas_-_march_2022.pdf.

2. For more on information on Irish energy security see Stop Climate Chaos, Energy Security and Sustainability Review Background Analysis, 2020 - https://www.stopclimatechaos.ie/assets/files/pdf/energy_security_review_background_technical_document.pdf.

3. See latest academic analysis on energy security and Ireland’s fossil fuel phase out here: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/ireland-must-play-its-part-in-ending-europe-s-dependence-on-russian-fossil-fuels-1.4820714


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