In a sign of
growing national consensus around the issue, it
was revealed this week that almost half of the TDs elected to the Dail
a pledge stating that they were "opposed
to the importation of US fracked Gas into Ireland via LNG import
Before the election, in its #Pledge4Climate campaign
'Love Letirim' , 'Friends
of the Earth' and 'Safety Before LNG'
obtained support from at least 193 candidates for the General
held on February 8th, 2020, for the pledge which stated:
opposed to the importation of US fracked Gas into Ireland
via LNG import terminals. If elected, I, as a T.D., will work to find a
the next Dail to prevent fracked Gas from entering the Irish energy mix
fixed or floating LNG terminals. I am opposed to fracking in Northern
elected, I, as a T.D., will work constructively in the next Dail to
fracking from taking place in Northern Ireland".
74 of those
candidates got elected and this included all the
elected T.D.s from the Labour Party, The Social Democrats, People Before Profit, The
Independents for Change, and Sinn Fein, along
with leading elected Fianna Fail and
Fine Gael T.D.s Eamon O'Cuiv, Marc McSharry and Frank Feighan.
were boosted by the clear positions against Fracking
taken by Fianna Fail in the Dail on October 3rd, 2019 "in recognition of
the health and climate
impacts of exploiting shale gas reserves".
3rd 2019, the Majority of Ireland's MEPs
had told the European Commission not to allow fracked gas into Ireland
Projects of Common Interest list. The Irish MEPs were supporting a
co-signed by 44 TDs initiated by Brid Smith of 'People Before Profit', submitted to the Dail on September 26th,
2019 calling on
the Irish Government:
remove any project from the proposed list of Projects of Common
Interest that could support the building of an LNG facility in Ireland
will act as a gateway for fracked gas entering the Irish energy mix;
and − to
build support in Europe to prioritise sustainability criteria in the
of candidate PCI projects, that will address fossil fuel lock in and
long-term impacts of fracked gas in the European energy mix, given the
change in climatic conditions."
15th, 2019, at the
Youth Assembly on Climate Change held in
Roisin Keegan-O'Rourke informed
the House that the Youth Assembly was proposing:
"for Ireland to ban the importation of
fracked gas and invest
solely in renewables"
27th, 2019, in a signal of Government softening
on the issue, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, speaking in the Dail stated:
"The Government banned fracking in Ireland,
through a Private
Members' Bill introduced by my colleague, Deputy McLoughlin. I am not
whether we are in a position to ban the import of fracked gas from other
jurisdictions. I will have to
check it out"
February 12th, 2020 the majority
of Irish MEPs (including Fine
Gael's Maria Walsh) voted against the 4th PCI list which
included the proposed
Shannon LNG fracked gas import project.
The Department of Environment has announced
a major review into the security and
sustainability of Ireland's energy supply but
under the outdated presumption that gas is considered "as the lowest CO2 emitting fossil fuel"
which is pre-judging the outcome and runs contrary to the accepted
testimony at the Climate Committee meeting last year that importing
from the US has a carbon-equivalent footprint 44% greater than that of
(without even considering the emissions from
the LNG transport
itself) . This is because the future review proposed by the Department
consider the most potent emissions from leaked methane upstream -
the non-territorial emissions - from fracking and is only
comparing the emissions released when coal and gas are burned. That is
called gaming the system by setting the parameters of the study to get
the outcome the Department wants and that is why political oversight of
climate assessments are necessary in order to have evidence-based
decision making in a transparent manner.
assessment of Methane Emissions promised by the European
Commission for the 5th PCI list of projects in two years time is also
system and pre-judging the assessment of fracked gas imports by only
the emissions taking place in the European Union and not the full
non-territorial emissions from US fracked gas imports.
two ongoing high-court legal challenges against the
proposed Shannon LNG fracked gas import plan with no assessment of the
impacts, a national consensus
is building that there is no longer any tolerance for the importation
gas into Ireland, given that we have already banned fracking in Ireland
due to the
negative health and climate impacts.