First Leitrim volunteers complete European Solidarity Corps camp

This summer Good Energies Alliance Ireland sent six young people to Xylokastro, Greece to take care of the local woodland and prevent forest fires as part of the new European Solidarity Corps programme. They worked for the local municipality together with young people from Denmark, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Turkey, Poland and France.

The first group of volunteers is only back from their month of volunteering and they shared their impressions with us.

Louis Moreau, 21, Drumsna

“My trip to Greece was a great learning experience. I enjoyed myself thoroughly while facing a number of challenges in an unfamiliar country. The people I engaged with were friendly and welcoming, and the experience as a whole has definitely helped me to grow as a person”.

Christian Wynne, 19, Drumshanbo

“The work we done in Greece involved planting trees, painting a school fence and collecting rubbish around Xylokastro. What surprised me most about Greece was the people and how friendly they were, even though most didn’t speak fluent English they still made you feel very comfortable and at home. The project overall made me a better and more confident person. Although there were slight challenges with language and different opinions, I learned to overcome them and communicate together to discuss it. I have no regrets going to Greece, and would recommend it to anyone. It’s been a memorable experience and I won’t forget it”.

Shane Cronogue, 25, Carrick-on-Shannon

“The work I did in Xylokastro was very rewarding and it was great to work as a team helping to paint the local school.
It was great to learn about other people’s culture.The project was sometimes challenging and other times fun, but it was great to see everyone motivated and helped each other to finish work. I feel I have grown as a person and have made new friends and created special memories during my stay in Xylokastro”.

 

Alexandra Peralaika

PBP Bill calls for stop to oil and gas projects

Adoption of the fossil fuels Divestment Bill

Adoption of the fossil fuels Divestment Bill – October 2018

 

Tuesday 21 May 2019, People Before Profit party has proposed a bill to remove liquefied natural gas (LNG) and other fossil fuel projects from access to fast-track planning approval.

“If we are serious about the climate emergency that was declared, it is simply unacceptable that fossil fuel companies seeking to profit from the destruction of the environment could develop infrastructure to lock us into further dependency on fossil fuels,” Mr Boyd Barrett said. 

Good Energies Alliance Ireland supports this initiative. Our “fossil fuel dependence” has to be solved by innovative and breaking solutions. We consider that it is now necessary to direct funding (public and private) towards renewable projects and low carbon economy.

 

 

 

Great news! Dáil declares climate emergency

School_Strike_for_Climate_in_Wellington_13.jpg

 Photo: David Tong, via Wikipedia Commons

An astonishing and positive step to fight climate change

GEAI is delighted to share the news that on Thursday, May 9th 2019, the Dáil voted to declare climate and biodiversity emergencyWith almost unanimous cross-party agreement, they also agreed to “accept and endorse” the blueprint for action developed by the cross-party Committee on Climate Action.  

“This is a remarkable development by our Government,” said Aedín McLoughlin, GEAI.  “Ireland is only the second country to declare such an emergency and already, across the world, we are being congratulated on this achievement.  Among the first to congratulate Ireland was famous climate activist Greta Thunberg who also pointed out that Climate Emergency means leaving fossil fuels in the ground! Good Energies Alliance is delighted with this declaration and hopes that future actions by this Government reflect the seriousness of the situation and the necessity by Ireland to show leadership.”

Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, supports what is happening in Ireland:

Green Party candidate delighted

“With the major Government parties, the Green Party is fully behind the recommendations of the Oireachtas Committee,” said Leslie O’Hora, director of GEAI.  “These include a target for Ireland to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, the potential for communities and individuals to sell solar and other renewable energies, reform of the CAP to provide more support for diversification of small farms, a new forestry plan and a huge programme of retrofitting public buildings.  Without doubt, the time for action is now!”

The only reservation on support for the blueprint for Climate Action was from Sinn Féin, who refused to support changes in our carbon taxes regulations.

Let us hope that this declaration is not just another example of empty words by our government, but will result in true leadership by Ireland in the battle against climate change!

Mountallen Biodiversity Farm Tour

Good Energies Alliance Ireland is organising the Mountallen Farm Tour, as part of the Biodiversity Week 2019. Local Biodiversity Champion, Tommy Earley, will give a unique tour of his organic farm, which has many interesting habitats including raised bog, woodland, acidic grassland and rare flora and fauna; moths, butterflies and dragonflies to name a few. Tommy will showcase his work on farmland nature conservation.

Book your free tickets: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/walk-on-mountallen-biodiversity-farm-tickets-61026678438

Final Climate Action Day for Drumkeeran students at the Organic Centre

The students during the tour of the Organic Centre.

Our second Climate Action Days workshop was concluded last Tuesday in the Organic Centre. What better place to reflect on all the topics covered during the days and present the results of the work done with the TY students of the Lough Allen College. In the Organic Centre, the students had the opportunity to learn about organic farming and good practices on how to preserve our environment. And since it was very sunny and warm – even if it was just the end of February – we had a lovely day outdoors!

Phil shows how to grow plants inside a polytunnel.

The students plant seeds of kale and beetroot.

After enjoying an ice-breaker with the students just before to start the tour, we met Phil Wheal that presented us the activities of the Organic Centre and guided us through the greenhouses, crops, and orchards around. Despite most of the fields were fallow and trees still empty, we had the opportunity to see flowers around so to have the first taste of spring.

Phil explains how to put the seeds in the seedling tray.

First, we went inside a polytunnel where Phil explained to us how to produce compost and why it make naturally good soil. Then he showed us different kind of plants that they grow there and finally, he involved the students in planting seeds of kale and beetroot. After filling the seedling trays with soil, they put the seeds and then watered them and let there to grow. Maybe the students won’t see the plants grow but we are sure they did a good job!

Johanna enjoys the day at the Organic Centre.

Then Phil showed us how to merge two branches in order to graft an apple tree, and he brought us in the orchard where even if it is still winter trees started to bloom. As soon as the tour was concluded we went back to Centre, where Clare Templar was waiting for us. She was in charge of the lunch, for which she cooked nice meals with organic produce. We had baked potatoes and meat, a beans soup, and a tempting colourful salad.

Joseph explains the results of the wind energy survey.

After that, the students presented the results of their projects. There were four working groups: “The Binmen” built bins to put in the school in order to collect recyclable waste; “The Turbine Turners” carried out interviews to know local people opinions about wind turbines; “Recipes from Leftovers” proposed recipes to avoid food waste; and “It’s Ofishial” explained why we should reduce plastic to avoid oceans pollution.

The group “It’s Ofishial” after their presentation.

We were very pleased to see what the students did, and we hope it was worth for them. Now we got much more experience in working with students, so we are looking forward to involving a new school!

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