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.

 

Logos IT Sligo, EPA, Erasmus +

 

 

 

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

 

 

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.

 

National Dialogue on Climate Action – It’s Community Engagement time!

The first of a series of Regional Gatherings under the National Dialogue on Climate Action took place in Athlone, at the Radisson Blu Hotel, on Saturday June 23rd. What a fantastic day! The National Dialogue on Climate Action is a Government led initiative through the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, along with the Environmental Protection Agency, in engaging people in collaborative action.

Representatives from organisations, community groups, NGOs and individuals from across Roscommon, Leitrim, Cavan, Monaghan, Louth, Meath, Westmeath, Longford and Offaly gathered together in Athlone and shared ideas and solutions to be taken at grassroots and local level to tackle climate change. A GEAI delegation participated at the Dialogue, including our EVS volunteer Francesca in her capacity of Leitrim Cool Planet Champion.

Guest speakers and Minister Naughten

Discussions and workshops went on for the whole day. Guest speakers included Dr. Conor Murphy  (Maynooth University), Mick Kelly and Katie Smith (Change X and Grow It Yourself), Dr. Margaret Desmond (University College Cork). A drop-in area was open to the public to meet representatives from Eco-Unesco, Teagasc, An Taisce, SEAI, VOICE Ireland, IFA and EPA.

The choice of the location for the event is significant as “Athlone is one of the areas which have suffered greater impacts of climate change. At the moment 147 families are still seeking relocation due to flooding” Minister Naughten highlighted in his opening remarks. “The Government has committed nearly 1% of the GDP to be spent on climate measures under the National Development Plan. No other government in the world has done that” said Denis Naughten. The Minister called also for communities to make their voice heard. He told the audience that when he was campaigning for the general elections only one citizen asked him about climate change.  “We will be investing but we need people and communities to talk about climate change” he added.

Francesca with Minister Naughten and other participants (Ph credit: DCCAE)

It has been such an inspiring day and I was delighted to be appointed as one of the Table Hosts to facilitate the discussion as the Leitrim Cool Planet Champion” Francesca said. “There is a terrific positive energy among the people here today. We are all very conscious of the urgent and imperative collective effort needed. Now it is time to engage with the whole civil society, we simply cannot afford any further delay” she added. “Climate change represents a threat but also a major opportunity for Leitrim. The inevitable transformational change required represents a massive opportunity for low-carbon investments across all economic sectors, resulting in an increased attraction of new brains (and families) to come and live in this stunning part of Ireland” Francesca concluded.

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