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Call on Ireland to propose a UN ban on fracking

Join the call for Ireland to propose a UN resolution against fracking at the General Assembly this year

Friends of the Earth has joined forces with activists and experts from across the anti-fracking movement [note 1] to call on Ireland to propose a global ban on fracking at the United Nations. We have written a joint letter to Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney TD to ask for Ireland’s support and produced an Explanatory Memorandum which outlines the case for a resolution on a global ban on fracking.

This call follows on from an open letter to the UN Secretary-General in 2019, signed by over 450 grassroots groups, organisations, celebrities and scientists from around the world, which demanded that the UN to champion efforts to stop fracking.

Gas is a harmful fossil fuel. At the very least half of all existing gas reserves need to stay in the ground unburned to keep global heating to less than 2C, more if we are serious about the Paris goal of 1.5C.

Fracked gas is fossil gas that has been extracted by an extremely damaging and polluting extractive process known as hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’. The harmful effects of fracking have been especially felt by communities in the US and include hugely detrimental impacts on public health and safety, as well as on ecological systems and the environment.

Fracking is also driving the climate crisis with US fracked gas thought to be responsible for the recent spike in global methane emissions (an extremely potent greenhouse gas). The Irish Centre for Human Rights in NUI Galway has also undertaken research on the international human rights implications of fracked gas which highlights that fracking has wide-ranging adverse impacts on many human rights (see here).

Ireland is uniquely well-positioned to lead the effort against fracked gas. Ireland already has a strong legislative ban on fracking in Ireland and within weeks will publish a policy against fracked gas imports. The state has also introduced legislation to make the state investment fund pull its money out of fossil fuel.

Sign the petition asking the Irish Government to table a UN resolution at the United Nations calling for a global ban on fracking.

Note 1
The orignators of the call include Belcoo Frack Free, Fridays for Future Ireland, Future Proof Clare, the Irish Centre for Human Rights NUI Galway, Love Leitrim, Safety Before LNG, Sr Majella McCarron OLA.


No New Gas

Ireland has a chance to show the way to a Fossil Free Future if the Government's new climate law guarantees #NoNewGas: no to importing fracked gas, no to building LNG terminals and no to new offshore exploration. Join the call to the three coalition leaders.

Ireland has a chance to show the way to a Fossil Free Future if the new Climate Law from legislates for No New Gas: no to importing fracked gas, no to building LNG terminals and no to new offshore exploration.

In recent years Ireland has taken a couple of steps on the path to a  Fossil Free Future, with laws to ban fracking and to make the state investment fund pull its money out of fossil fuels. And we are phasing out the burning of coal and peat to make electricity. Now we need to make sure we don't get hooked on gas instead.

Gas is fossil fuel too. At the very least half of all existing gas reserves need to stay in the ground unburned to keep global heating to less than 2C, more if we are serious about the Paris goal of 1.5C. There is just no room for new gas. We need to #KeepItInTheGround.

In Ireland, fossil gas provides 31% of our total energy supply compared to 11% from renewables (4,571 kilotonnes of oil equivalent compared to 1629 ktoe from renewables in 2019). Those gas numbers have to start coming down if Ireland is to do its fair share to prevent complete climate breakdown. 

What's the next step?

  • Having banned fracking here to protect our communities from the environmental and health effects, it would be hypocritical in the extreme to start importing fracked gas from under the feet of communities in the US who stood with us while we campaigned for the Irish ban.

  • It makes no environmental or economic sense to sink millions of euro into building import terminals to import liquefied fossil gas (fracked or not) from around the world when we have to use less and less gas in future. The push for LNG terminals is a last gasp bid by Big Oil and Gas to keep us hooked on their lethal products and to use Ireland as a supply line to the rest of Europe.

  • And it makes no sense of any kind to allow companies to start looking for new oil and gas in Irish waters now, when even if they found any it wouldn't come onshore 'til the 2030s when we should be squeezing the last fossil fuels out of our energy system.

Sign the petition asking the Irish government to include these steps in the new climate law they will be publishing soon. 

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

Hey Irish Supermarkets: We don’t want your plastic!

Ireland is the No. 1 plastic producer in Europe.

Much of this plastic is unnecessary and a lion’s share comes from our supermarkets.

Recycling is not enough. We demand that industry turn off the tap on plastic packaging and invest in refill and reuse options in store.

Ireland has the fourth – lowest recycling rate of plastics in the European Union.

What Irish Supermarkets can do:

  1. Offer more items without packaging, such as fruit and vegetables (without plastic trays, wrapping and nets) at competitive prices
  2. Make their own-brand packaging easily reusable, compostable or recyclable, and use less plastic
  3. Demand, through their purchasing power, that other brands they carry have easily reusable, 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, deli items, salads, fish etc - buying only what they need

What our Government can do:

We must press the Government to adopt an ambitious Single-Use Plastic plan that embraces the circular economy:

  1. Deposit Refund Scheme that includes glass
  2. Move away from compostable options as this still supports a throw-away culture.
  3. Encourage and reward the use of reusable items. There is a better way than throw away.
  4. Set Refill targets for supermarkets: we want 30% refill options in store by 2030.

Sick of Plastic is a national campaign in partnership with VOICE Ireland and supported by Climate Love Ireland.

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For the Love of ...Solar Schools

Please change the planning exemptions so that schools and community buildings can install solar panels, without the added expense of seeking planning permission. You are now 14 months delayed in introducing this simple change to the planning regulations, and it is having a stalling effect on all school and community solar installations.

We love Solar Power! It's clean, free and zero carbon, but in Ireland we have hardly any of it.

And the reason why has nothing to do with how much sun we get! It's because Ireland has unique rules that are designed to make installing solar panels REALLY hard. It is particularly hard for schools.

One of these rules is planning permission.  Schools need planning permission to install even one solar panel.  It's madness, and adds significant cost. 

For years politicians have promised to change this.  They even leaked a story to the papers in August 2020, that they had done it! But they haven't. 

Today, the change is in the hands of Minister Peter Burke. 

Please email your TD's today, and ask them to put pressues on Minister Burke and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage,   and ask him to make good on the promise of many before him, for the Love of Solar. 

Make your promise on LNG a policy!

We want to see a robust Government policy statement on Liquefied Natural Gas

On April 28th 2020 both Leo Varadkar and Micheal Martin signed a statement saying "Both of our parties accept that as we move towards carbon neutrality, it does not make sense to build new large scale fossil fuel infrastructure such as liquefied natural gas import terminals"

Following this the Programme for Government was agreed, which committed to developing a policy statement to prevent the importation of fracked gas.

But the Government has done nothing to make good on this promise, and the threat is growing every day that the fossil fuel industry will start to build liquified natural gas terminals in Ireland. There are now potentially 5 terminals in the making, and plans to turn Ireland into the gateway location for the transportation of fossil gas though Ireland into the UK and Europe. As a country we were groundbreaking in establishing a ban on fracking in 2017, so to import fracked gas from abroad is tantamount to offshoring the injustice that communities subjected to fracking face. It would also add fuel to the climate crisis.

Email your Government TD's and Senators today and tell them to Act Now to prevent LNG terminals - floating or fixed - in Ireland. 

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