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No to Shannon LNG

We oppose the building of terminals to import fracked gas, lock us into fossil fuel dependence, and blow our chances of containing climate change.

In 2008 a company called Shannon LNG was granted planning permission to build a terminal on the Shannon estuary in northern Kerry, to import liquefied natural gas (LNG). The terminal hasn't been built, but now the company is looking to get an extension of the planning permission. An Bord Pleanála are considering whether this constitutes a material change to the original permission.

So much has changed since 2008:

  • In 2012, the International Energy Agency concluded "No more than one-third of proven reserves of fossil fuels can be consumed prior to 2050 if the world is to achieve the 2°C goal" for limiting climate change.
  • In 2013 the IPCC published their latest assessment of climate science and estimated that we had used over half the "global carbon budget" if we want to avoid 2°C of global warming, and the entire budget will be exhausted in less than 30 years (5 years ago) if we continue to burn fossil fuels at current rates.
  • In 2015 the Oireachtas passed the Climate Action law to underpin Government policy of reducing Irish carbon dioxide emissions by 80% by 2050. Moreover, the Energy White Paper adopted by Government shortly afterwards set a target for the energy sector of cutting emissions by 80-95% by 2050.
  • Also in 2015, 196 countries agreed the Paris Climate Accord with the aim of "Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels". 
  • In 2017, the Tyndall Centre in Manchester University and Teeside University published a study which found "Current levels of emissions will use up the EU’s 2°C carbon budget in under nine years", "Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) transport increases the climate change impact of natural gas supply chains" and crucially "within two decades fossil fuel use, including gas, must have all but ceased, with complete decarbonisation following soon after."
  • And in 2017, Ireland banned hydraulic fracturing - fracking - for the exploration and extraction of oil and gas onshore in Ireland.

Building LNG terminals that last 30 years makes no economic or environmental sense for Ireland, when we have to leave 2/3 of known fossil fuels in the ground and stop burning gas altogether within two decades. There is a high risk the terminals would become stranded assets, white elephants, monuments to the folly of the late fossil age.

Building LNG terminals to import fracked gas makes no moral sense when we banned fracking - just last year - because the public and our parliament decided the potentially devastating impacts on communities' water, health and tourism and farming were two high a price to pay. Surely we don't now want to import fracked gas from communities from the US and elsewhere struggling to cope with those same impacts.

We urge An Bord Pleanála to refuse an extension to the planning permission as importing LNG is clearly no longer a sustainable option for Ireland.

We urge the Government to reverse it's short-sighted support for building LNG terminals and locking us into fossil fuel dependence, just when opportunities to invest in saving energy and ramping up community-centred renewables are opening up.

*If you sign this petition we will include your name on a list endorsing this explanatory text as a submission to An Bord Pleanala. 

I'm sick of plastic and I want to see action

Tell the new Climate Minister to support Waste Reduction Bill!

We are all sick of plastic. 

Everyday in Ireland we use more than 500,000 plastic-lined coffee cups that can't be recycled, more than 2 million plastic bottles that don't get recycled, and supermarkets foist more and more packaging on us. Meanwhile, micro-plastics are making the fish we eat sick, and if we keep going the way we are, plastic waste will outweigh fish in the oceans by 2050.

But there are solutions.

What politicians can do

A Dáil Committee has backed a Waste Reduction Bill that contains the measures we are calling for.

The Bill (draft law) would introduce a deposit on plastic bottles, which would be refunded when you bring the bottle back for recycling. In countries where they have a scheme like this recycling rates are as high as 98%. We had a deposit and refund scheme for glass bottles in the past. It's time to do it for plastic.

Denis Naughten is threatening to torpedo the Bill

We know producers and retailers are lobbying hard *against* a deposit and return scheme because they say it would be inconvenient or too expensive. Independent research shows the scheme would cost about 1c per bottle. We need to show that people really want to see action on plastic and don't want supermarkets and big business dragging their heels.

The Bill would also ban or introduce a levy on single-use plastic items like plastic-lined take-away cups. A 15c "latte levy" as it has been described would encourage more and more people to bring their own cup to the coffee shop, like the Friends of the Earth KeepCup. Many coffee shops have joined the Conscious Cup Campaign and offer customers a discount, double loyalty points, or like coffeeangel do, make a donation to Friends of the Earth every time someone brings a reusable cup.

The Government has promised a separate ban on micro-plastics before the end of the 2018 but they have been slow to bring forward legislation to progress the opposition Bill that is waiting for a Dáil Committee to make time to consider it.

What Irish supermarkets can do

We've written to the ceos of big supermarket chains asking them to take these Six Steps:

  1. Offer more items without packaging, such as fruit and vegetables (without plastic trays, wrapping and nets).
  2. Make their own-brand packaging easily compostable or recyclable, and use less plastic.
  3. Demand, through their purchasing power, that other brands they carry have easily compostable or recyclable packaging, and use less plastic.
  4. Blaze a trail in Ireland by implementing a plastic free aisle, as has been done in the Netherlands.
  5. Provide items in bulk, where possible, to reduce packaging.
  6. Allow shoppers use their own containers to buy dried goods, buying only what they need.

Climate Action Now

Tell you TDs why climate change matters to you. The UN has published an alarming scientific report and the very next day our Government did nothing on climate change in Budget 2019. Tell them why you're upset, angry, worried or hopeful.

Last Monday a UN scientific panel published an alarming report on on climate change. The impacts are worse than we thought and to prevent complete climate chaos we essentially have to halve our pollution by 2030 and reduce it to zero by 2050.

On Tuesday, the Government introduced Budget 2019, dropping plans for an increase in the carbon tax announced by the Taoiseach, and effectively "giving two fingers to the Paris Agreement" and everyone who is threatened by climate change.

It was a staggering failure of political leadership that put us all at risk of devastating climate impacts.

But we're not going down without a fight.

What you can do:

1. Ring your TD on 01-6183000

Call 01-6183000 and ask for the office of one of your local TDs. Leave a message to say you are shocked, alarmed and that you want to see climate action now.
(use this map to figure out who your TDs are).

2. Email all your local TDs

You can use this link to send an email to all the TDs in your constituency. We haven't written a preset message for you. Use your own words, it can be as short as you like. Tell them why you want climate action now. You might be worried about your children or grandchildren. Or you own future! Tell your TDs what it is that makes you angry, sad or worried about climate change.

3. Come to the Dáil on Tuesday lunchtime

Three activist groups have organized an impromptu demonstration on Tuesday 15th between 12.30 and 2pm to show TDs that people care about climate change. Friends of the Earth and Stop Climate Chaos are supporting the demo organized by the Dublin Eco-Feminist Collective, Not Here Not Anywhere, and Young Friends of the Earth.

If you are in striking distance of Dublin 2, join us. If not, call your TD, that will have a real impact too - let's make sure they all get dozens of phonecalls.

The biggest take-away from the UN report is that every fraction of a degree of climate change matters. And we don't know which fraction is the difference between climate damage and climate catastrophe. So every thing we do matters and every decision government makes now matters. We are almost out of time, and the Government is absolutely out of excuses.

Please make sure they hear from you tomorrow.

All our tomorrows depend on it.

Oisin Coghlan
Friends of the Earth

P.S. This is the moment to ask to your family and friends to take action too. If you're like me you're too polite in most social situations to bring up climate change. Today is the day we push through that awkwardness for the sake of our futures:

  1. Send this email to the people you care about, cos they need to care about climate change.
  2. Agree with a couple of friends that you'll call your TDs and compare notes.
  3. Grab a friend and bring them with you to the demo.

poster banner

Urge your TD to support action on plastic waste

In days the Dáil will debate and vote on a motion urging Government action on plastic bottles, coffee cups and straws. Minister Naughten was blocking action, let's push new Minister Richard Bruton to back action

This week the Dáil will debate a motion on plastic waste.

If we can get the majority of TDs to support it, we can give new Minister for the Environment, Richard Bruton, the platform he needs to take action.

Email my TDs

Under pressure from vested interests former Minister, Denis Naughten, was blocking action, using a parliamentary trick to hold up the Waste Reduction Bill that has cross-party support in the Dáil.

Now we have a new Minister, and a new chance to tip the balance towards action. The Dáil will debate a motion calling for the Minister to introduce:

  • a national deposit and return scheme for plastic bottles
  • a tax on plastic take-away cups
  • a ban on single-use items like plastic straws

We have more that 15,000 signatures on our Sick of Plastic petition supporting these precise measures. Now let's turn that public concern into a politically irresistible Dáil majority.

Tip the balance


Want to take it further?

1. Ring your TD on 01-6183000

TDs notice emails from their own constituents but if you really want to make them sit up and pay attention, follow up with a phone call. Ring 01-6183000 and ask for the office of one of your TDs. The Fine Gael ones are most important as they have a direct line to the Minister. Just leave a voicemail or a message with whoever answers: It can be as simple as checking they got your email, or you can tell them why you are so frustrated by plastic waste and so keen to see action.

2. Join us for the petition handover

We'll be presenting the petition outside the Dáil at 1pm on Tuesday. The more of us who are there the better. If you live or work near enough to Dublin city centre it would be great if you could join us for 30 minutes at lunchtime. Even better if you can bring a couple of examples of plastic from your bin - we'll be taking a photo to demand action.

3. Watch the debate from the Dáil gallery

If you really want to spook your TD, come and watch the debate on Tuesday night from the Dáil gallery. It's on from 8pm to 10pm. Register here and we'll get you signed in. I totally understand not everybody can spare 2 hours, but if you can't come do take 2 minutes to ring your TD's office after you've emailed them.

We have a real chance to make progress this week. We know there is amazing public appetite for action on plastic. Now we need to turn that into political pressure.

Your TD could tip the balance, so please email them.

Thank you,

Oisin bottles it

Oisin Coghlan
Friends of the Earth

(demonstrating bottle
returns at Electric Picnic!)


P.S. Public concern on plastic is far wider than the people we can reach directly. So please forward this email to friends and family. Or copy this link and share on Facebook, Twitter or WhatsApp:

Chip in waste
Not surprisingly, our campaigning on plastic is only funded by our supporters. Your support makes it possible and your participation makes it powerful. Thank you.

Digital Revolutionaries