The day that Fracking died in Ireland!

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6th July 2017 was a historic day in the Republic of Ireland, the Bill to ban onshore fracking was signed into law by President Michael D Higgins.

The Petroleum and Other Minerals Development (Prohibition of Onshore Hydraulic Fracturing) Bill brought by Sligo-Leitrim TD Tony McLoughlin received generalized support from across the political parties.

Deputy McLoughlin expressed his delight that the Bill will be made into law to “protect hundreds of thousands of people from the harmful and damaging effects of hydraulic fracking”.

“The passing of the Bill has been a great victory for local campaigners and a boost for the global climate movement,” said Niall Sargent, representing the Environmental Pillar, a coalition of 26 Irish environmental organisations.

According to the Pillar, its members Good Energies Alliance Ireland (GEAI) and Friends of the Earth (FoE) Ireland campaigned “relentlessly” with grassroots movements, such as Love Leitrim across the country to get the prospect of a ban put on the political agenda.

Aedín McLoughlin, the Director of GEAI, also heaped praise on the campaigners who “never gave up the struggle to make this issue a national one”.

“The long road is travelled and we have come successfully to its end,” she said. “For six years we have looked forward to this day when the Irish government would ban fracking and protect our rural environment and communities from this industry that poisons drinking water and air”.

It wasn’t easy but fracking is now officially banned in Ireland. Congratulations to all!

Three years left to save our climate!


The climate situation is even more urgent now – the year 2020 is crucially important. When it comes to climate, timing is everything. Should emissions continue to rise beyond 2020, or even remain level, climatologists calculate that the temperature goals set in Paris become almost unattainable. MISSION 2020 is a collaborative campaign to raise ambition and action across key sectors to bend the greenhouse-gas emissions curve downwards. Christiana Figueres and other high-level colleagues set out a six-point plan for turning the tide of world’s carbon dioxide by 2020.

Ireland bans fracking!

Fracking ban

The taste of sweet success! Wednesday morning was a historic occasion- with all-party support, the Bill to ban Fracking in Ireland was passed without opposition. The voice of the people and especially of the communities of the Northwest was heard loud and clear.
“A great day and a great achievement by all concerned. This campaign shows people power in the best possible way” (Aedín McLoughlin)

Minister of State Seán Kyne announces launch of €5.2m community climate action project.

CHERISH (Climate, Heritage and Environments of Reefs, Islands and Headlands) is an exciting new European funded cross-border project with Geological Survey Ireland as the Irish partner.   



Using the latest geoscience technology and expertise, CHERISH partners will perform collaborative research in marine mapping, landscape modelling, excavation and environmental studies. They will work with coastal communities in Ireland and Wales to develop mutual understanding of climate risk to local heritage assets and reduce the impact of climate change on local economies.


This project has an important social and economic mission, as well as a scientific one. The initiative encourages knowledge sharing between scientists and local communities to protect coastal tourism and heritage sites from climate change,” said Sean Kyne, Minister of State for Communications, Climate Action and Environment. “It is my aim that this project will serve as a stimulus for climate awareness, wellbeing and prosperity in the local communities it serves, as well as throughout coastal Ireland.”


The Irish component of the project will focus on five coastal communities around Ireland: Glascarrig Motte, Co. Wexford; Skellig Michael, Co. Kerry; Saltee Islands, Co. Wexford; Skerries Islands, Co. Dublin and Dalkey Island, Co. Dublin.

Minister Kyne officially launched the CHERISH project on 23rd March 2017.


The problem with Biomass – it can emit more carbon per unit of energy than most fossil fuels!


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Is wood a carbon-neutral energy source?

In February 2017, Chatham House published Woody Biomass for Power and Heat: Impacts on the Global Climate, by Duncan Brack.  The report argues that policies promoting wood for renewable energy production are based on the flawed assumption that wood is a carbon-neutral energy source.  In fact, as reported, emissions from wood burning may be higher than the fossil fuels replaced.

Biomass in general emits more carbon per unit of energy than most fossil fuels. EU policies do not account for the emissions from bioenergy in the energy sector, because it is assumed that these emissions are accounted for at the point of harvest in the land use sector. However, whether these emissions can be recuperated by future growth of biomass is not only uncertain, but often unlikely.  The report finds that part of the emissions may never be accounted for, such as when EU countries use biomass imported from the United States.

Policies must distinguish between different types of feedstock

The report, in line with earlier recommendations by environmental groups, proposes that policies clearly distinguish between different types of feedstock and provide support only to those which reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the short term, taking into account changes in forest carbon stocks. With regard to wood harvesting, only residues that would otherwise have been burnt as waste or would have been left in the forest and decayed rapidly can be considered to be carbon-neutral over the short to medium term.

In principle, sustainability criteria can ensure that only biomass with the lowest impact on the climate are used; the current criteria in use in some EU member states and under development in the EU do not achieve this.


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