Powerful Communities Conference – video summary

We are pleased to present a short video on the Powerful Communities conference, held at IT Sligo last June 15th.

The video shows an overview of the speakers and their presentations, plus some scenes from the round tables. We still want to thank all the participants, both speakers and public.

GEAI is going to organise further seminars in the fall, for which we will keep you updated. For the moment we wish you to enjoy the summer break!

Here you can find more information about the conference.

Microgeneration and overviews for communities

Microgeneration reportOur microgeneration report, researched by our EVS volunteer Francesca Franzetti, is now published!

This report gives an overview of microgeneration for non-technical readers. It deals with all aspects of microgeneration from policies to support mechanisms; from community energy to grid connections.

We hope that it will be useful for groups and communities interested in implementing small renewable energy projects.

 

Download the report: Micro-Scale Electricity Generation : An Overview for Communities

 

 

Happy summer days

Beach

It’s with this incredible summer that us, GEAI volunteers, can enjoy Ireland!

During the heatwave in June and July, we could enjoy the beach and try to swim in the (cold) North Atlantic Ocean, what an experience!

Dublin, Donegal, Athlone, Galway, Cork, Cliffs of Moher, ring of Kerry and Dingle, Northern Ireland… We visited more things in Ireland in 3 months than in 1 year in our own countries. But this country is so fascinating! All parts of Ireland are unique, and the landscapes are so different under the sun.

Mohill castleThanks to this very nice weather, we could enjoy the beauties of Eire and all their charm in the best way.

At the end of July, Drumshanbo for one week became the place to be in County Leitrim with the Joe Mooney Summer School. This festival attracts hundreds of people from all around the world (United Kingdom, Europe, Canada, USA…). The programme included set dancing lessons and musical instruments tuition (fiddle, harp, guitar, flute, accordion, etc.)  concerts, céilís and recitals.

All the pubs hosted music sessions every day. There were also concerts every evening in the Lough Allen Hotel, Mayflower Hall or in other places in the town. What an amazing week! The quiet Drumshanbo was full of people, two, sometimes three or more music sessions in each pub, people everywhere! And such good musicians! We even saw people playing music in the streets.

Alas, the weather has changed and the rain has returned, for now anyway.  The farmers are pleased but we hope that the summer is not over for us!

Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill. One step ahead

Celebrations outside the Dáil (Photo Mark Stedman – Through http://www.trocaire.org)

On Thursday, July 12th we went to the Dáil in Dublin to attend the debate on the Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill. The result was extraordinary, the law was passed and will now make its way to the Seanad. For us – an organization that promotes green energy and tries to increases awareness about climate change – it was a very important opportunity to be present at this event. The moment was fundamental to meet all the associations that promoted and supported from the beginning this bill, including Trócaire, leader in the campaign. We can feel like that part of a bigger network and we believe that only by working together will we be able to move forward.

Now Ireland is the first country in the world that will not invest public money in fossil fuels. As Éamonn Meehan, Executive Director of Trócaire said: “Today the Oireachtas has […] sent a powerful signal to the international community about the need to speed up the phase out of fossil fuels if global climate goals are to be delivered. […] Climate change is one of the leading drivers of poverty and hunger in the developing world and we see its devastating impact every day in the communities in which we work. […] Ireland has gained a reputation internationally in recent years as a ‘climate laggard’ and just last month Ireland was ranked the second worst European country for Climate Action, so the passing of this Bill is good news but has to mark a significant change of pace on the issue.” (Read the full article)

The bill, presented about two years ago by Independent TD Thomas Pringle, proposes to amend the National Treasury Management (Amendment) Act 2014, instructing the Agency to divest the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund of its assets in fossil fuel companies, and to prohibit future investments in the industry. This means, for example, that semi State-owned companies would not be eligible to receive investment from the ISIF in the future. – Fossil fuel means coal, oil, natural gas, peat or any derivative thereof intended for use in the production of energy by combustion, and cannot longer be exploited if we are to remain well below the 2°C limit as required under the Paris Agreement.

Ireland has among the highest levels of consumption emissions and resource use per capita in the world, so the fact that this law was passed means that it can lead the way for the others countries to prevent dangerous effects of climate change. And we are really proud to have been present for this moment.

For more information:
Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill on www.oireachtas.ie
Support the Fossil Fuel Divestment Bille through www.trocaire.ie

Greed and coal, oil and gas industries are main obstacles to SDGs

Coal power

Jeffrey Sachs, Columbia University, was a keynote speaker at the 2018 High-Level Political Forum to analyse the global progress toward achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). In his address, he slammed the coal, oil and gas industries, saying that they “are the biggest obstacle to the achievement of the SDGs”.

He called out the global food industry’s unsustainable supply chains and unhealthy products. Citing overlapping rankings at the top of sustainable development and happiness tables, he noted that sustainable development promotes well-being and happiness, while tax cuts for the rich undermine essential dimensions of the SDGs.

He called on rich countries and individuals to address the $200 billion shortfall in funding required to achieve the SDGs, by:

  • increasing Official Development Assistance (ODA)
  • using 1% of the wealth of the world’s 2208 billionaires
  • closing down off-shore tax havens
  • taxing the five big global technology monopoly companies
  • taxing financial transactions
  • a global carbon tax
  •  measures to tackle wholesale tax evasion.

 

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