We oppose the building of terminals to import fracked gas, lock us into fossil fuel dependence, and blow our chances of containing climate change.
A company called New Fortress Energy is currently seeking to build a terminal on the Shannon estuary in northern Kerry, to import liquefied natural gas (LNG). The terminal hasn't been built.
On October 4th 2019, against national and international outcry, the Irish Govenerment confirmed its support for this project by proposing it to the European Commission as a Project of Common Interest. If approved this will give the project developers special permissions for planning and licencing, as it will become a project deemed to be of national public interest. It would also gain access to significant funding. The final opportunity to remove Irish support from this project is 23 October 2019.
We are working to resist this and all new gas infrastrucutre projects.
- 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 2 years ago - 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 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.