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Never fracking

There is now cross party support to say that liqueified natural gas import terminals are not a good idea for Ireland. However, to become a reality, this statement needs to be explicitly mentioned in the Programme for Government. Email your TD now to tell them you want to see them do everything in their power to ensure this, and also to do what they can to prevent fracking in Northern Ireland.

74 of 160 elected TD's signed a pledge committing to work to end support for imported fracked gas in Ireland through LNG terminals, and to support the end of fracking in Northern Ireland. Now Fianna Fail and Fine Gael have stated that they agree LNG terminals for importing fracked gas have no place in the future.

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We know from experience words mean nothing until they are Government policy! 

Can you email your TD to make sure there is a specific statement in the Programme for Government against fracking gas terminals?

Two import terminals for fracked gas are currently proposed, in Shannon and Cork. The terminals would be developed as import hubs, allowing fracked gas into the European market from the USA where there is currently an oversupply of this controversial fuel. The terminals would play an important role in the shale gas supply chain, the market for which is currently very unstable.  The Shannon project was promoted by the previous Government as the most important strategic energy project for Ireland.  This has given it the opportunity to get special permission to override public health and environmental impacts, and to apply for major funding from the Connecting Europe Facility.  The final approval/denial is up to the next Government. 

At the same time, communities in Northern Ireland continue to be at risk from fracking.  Pollution doesn't obey borders, and even if it did, we cannot stand by while our neighbours north of the border are subjected to the suffering and pain that fracking brings.  Our energy system works as one single Island, and so too should our efforts to halt this damaging industry. 

 

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Over 130 national and international groups have collectively written to Irish Party leaders requesting an explicit note in the Programme for Government to end support for fracked gas import terminals.

You can email your TD from here and ask them to commit to end support for fracked gas infrastructure

Check out Roisin from Love Leitrim who managed to get the Youth Parliament to agree to no more fracking. If only all our politicians were like this!

Check out which TDs signed the pre-election pledge here.

 

 

Act with the Science

As the three parties in government formation negotiations sit down to discuss climate policy in detail, Friends of the Earth has published the results of an opinion poll showing overwhelming public support for greater government action to reduce polluting emissions. The headline findings include 9 out of 10 people saying that the government should be guided by science and expert advice on climate action as they have been on Covid-19.

As the three parties in government formation negotiations sit down to discuss climate policy in detail, Friends of the Earth has published the results of an opinion poll showing overwhelming public support for greater government action to reduce polluting emissions. The headline findings include 9 out of 10 people saying that the government should be guided by science and expert advice on climate action as they have been on Covid-19. And 71% saying the next government will be failing the people of Ireland if they do not act now to combat climate change. The poll was carried out by Opinions Market Research over 7 days up to Monday 18th, on a nationally representative quota sample of 1021 people, with a resulting margin of error of +/- 3.1%.

The key findings of the poll include:

  • 9 in 10 believe Government climate change policies should be guided by science and expert advice, as was the case with Covid-19.
  • Almost two-thirds of adults in Ireland believe that it is important that the government prioritises climate change in the economic recovery plans after Covid-19.
  • There is near-universal support (90%) for government initiatives to support jobs by encouraging home improvements for energy efficiency.
  • 3 out of every 4 citizens in Ireland believe that investment in transport should favour safe walking, cycling and public transport ahead of private cars. It's 79% in cities and suburbs and, strikingly, is still 72% in rural areas.
  • Two-thirds of people living in rural areas believe emissions from agriculture need to be reduced by supporting a move to more sustainable farming. Nationally it's three-quarters.

TD's negotiating the Programme for Government need to know that 71% believe the next government will be failing the people of Ireland if it does not act now to combat climate change.  

Can you email your TD and tell them that climate action needs to be at the centre of the post covid recovery? Just click on your consituency on the map below. 

For the Love of Solar

Change the rules for Solar Schools

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.

Can you sign our petition, and help us change the rules? This one is a no brainer.

We are working with schools to install solar so we can show all the benefits of solar, and highlight the challenges. Schools need planning permission for even one solar panel, and they cannot easily sell or share any of the energy they generate at weekends when they are not there to use the power. 

Without a feed-in-tarrif, so much unused renewable energy goes to waste. We want communities to be able to earn money by selling their energy back to the grid.

Minister after Minister has agreed with us that the rules for solar are too restrictive. Yet, action is yet to follow words.

It's time for action, sign the petition!

Are you a school?

Lots of schools have already signed up to help change the rules so every school can be a Solar School. See the schools signed up on the map below. You can sign up too here at this link.

 

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.

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

Such measures must include the following:

  • A Deposit Refund Scheme which would place a deposit on all plastic and glass drinks bottles as well as cans, which would be refunded when you bring the container 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 again.

    *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.
  • Introduce a 'latte levy' on all single-use coffee cups and take-away containers to encourage reuse.

    *Your average coffee cup has an inner plastic lining, and therefore cannot be recycled. Many cafés 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.

  • Enforce a ban on the most problematic single-use plastic items such as straws, stirrers, cutlery, plates and cups.

  • Move away from compostable options as this still supports a throw-away culture.

  • Encourage and reward the use of reusable items. There is a better way than throw away.

What Irish supermarkets can do

  1. Offer more items without packaging, such as fruit and vegetables (without plastic trays, wrapping and nets) at competitve 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

Sick of Plastic is a national campaign in partnership with VOICE Ireland.

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