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URGENT: Petition to ban oil and gas exploration off Irish coasts

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Petition Text

Ban exploration for more oil and gas off the Irish coast. 80% of existing fossil fuel reserves need to stay in the ground to prevent runaway climate change. #KeepItInTheGround #FossilFree

Why This? Why Now?

Thanks to a swell of grassroots support, the Petroleum and Other Minerals Development (Amendment) (Climate Emergency Measures) Bill 2018 passed the second stage in the Dáil in February 2018. The Bill, which calls for a ban on all new licences for offshore drilling, received support from all opposition parties. The Bill will come before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Action and the Environment on July 10th, when environmental scientists and representatives of the energy industry will advise the Committee on the Bill. We call on all the Committee members to continue to support and strengthen the Climate Emergency Measures Bill, to help secure the futures of our people and our planet.

The last of the hearings will happen tomorrow, before the Committee will consider whether or not to progress the Bill.

Almost a year ago to the day, on 11th July 2017, Minister of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten, granted consent to oil & gas drilling by Providence Resources PLC in the Porcupine Basin off our south-west coast [1]. They expected to find 5 billion barrels of oil [2]. This happened just one week after onshore fracking was banned in Ireland. Luckily, Providence were unsuccessful. This time.

This Department of Climate Action has thus allowed for the burning of 5 billion barrels of oil when international climate experts state that 80% of the known fossil fuels have to stay in the ground if we want to avoid going over the safe 2 degrees limit of global warming [3].

Any investment in fossil fuel industry and infrastructure will result in what is known as “carbon lock-in”, taking us on a one-way unstoppable trip to dangerous levels of global warming that threaten global health and eco-systems [4].

Oil and gas exploration is also deadly for Ireland’s unique dolphin, whale and porpoise population [5] and plankton, the basis of the marine ecosystem [6]. Yet, Minister Naughten has refused to confirm if drilling will stop if a threat to the population is found [7].

What do we want?

We call on the Minister to follow the lead of France [8] and ban all new oil and gas exploration in Irish waters.

We need to halt all dead investments in the fossil fuel industry and prepare a just transition to an economy that can provide workers with real, sustainable long-term jobs that can provide for their families and their future [9].

Want more information?

Not Here Not Anywhere have just produced an excellent piece of work, outlining the myriad reasons why it would be folly to prevent the passage of this Bill, and the Stop Climate Chaos coalition has published a briefing entitled 'Ending Fossil Fuel Exploration in Ireland'.

How it will be delivered?

It will be delivered in person to Hildegarde Naughton, Chair of the the Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment, at lunchtime on July 10th 2018, outisde Leinster House. 

Can I attend the hearing?

Yes! Just email nothere.notanywhere@gmail.com to be placed on the guest list. It will begin at 11am sharp (please be a few minutes early) and end at approximately 1:30pm.

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[1] http://www.independent.ie/business/world/providence-resources-commences-drilling-off-the-southwest-coast-of-ireland-35921724.html
[2] http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/amp/news/180745
[3] http://www.carbontracker.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Unburnable-Carbon-Full-rev2-1.pdf
[4] http://priceofoil.org/2016/09/22/the-skys-limit-report/
[5] http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2014/02/140228-atlantic-seismic-whales-mammals/
[6] https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/23/15861932/offshore-drilling-airgun-seismic-surveys-zooplankton-death-oceans
[7] https://www.kildarestreet.com/debates/?id=2017-02-07a.382
[8] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/france-ban-new-oil-gas-exploration-stop-granting-licences-macron-hulot-renewable-energy-drive-a7806161.html
[9] http://www.impact.ie/climate-change-workers-communities-must-protected-just-transition-carbon-free-economy-says-impact/

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