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Press Releases

For Immediate Release
Press Release June 15th 2020: 

Ireland Set to become the first country in the world to ban the importation of fracked gas

Joint Press Release from Local NGOs campaigning against LNG terminals, Fracking and Fracked Gas
Imports into Ireland


Safety Before LNG
(Contact John McElligott - Tel: 087-2804474)

FutureProof Clare 
(Contact Anne Marie Harrington Tel: 086-8645312)

Love Leitrim
(Contacts Jamie Murphy Tel: 085-1053319 / Eddie Mitchell Tel:

Today,  Ireland is providing a template for other countries to follow by sending a message to the world that there is no longer a social licence in Ireland for the global trade in fracked gas  

Today, three rival Irish political parties have produced a Consensus Programme for Government that sets Ireland on course to become a Global Climate Leader as the first country in the world to ban the importation of fracked gas via LNG import terminals. By demonstrating its willingness to tackle powerful fracked-gas vested interests head on, and by expressing solidarity and empathy with communities in Pennsylvania and Texas affected by the scourge of fracking, Ireland is showing by example why it should be endorsed on Wednesday for a seat at the United Nations Security Council with a national mandate based on Climate Justice.

Dervilla Keegan of Love Leitrim stated:


“Having already banned fracking in Ireland in 2017, it is now clear that Ireland, in refusing to import US fracked gas, is destined to lead the way in calling for a global ban on fracking. This is win not only for the climate but for exploited communities in America, and the individuals within them that we have come to know. They were there for us in gaining our fracking ban, and we are proud that our government parties are showing they stand with them today. In our fight against climate change we must act globally together, and any transition must be just.” 


In what will also be interpreted internationally as an indictment of the European Commission policy of promotion of US fracked gas imports, the political parties have also agreed to inform the European Commission that Shannon LNG must be removed from the highly-controversial Projects of Common Interest List. PCI status obliges each Member State to consider PCI projects as being of overriding public interest with no consideration for  the full life-cycle, non-territorial climate impacts. 


The move to ban LNG terminals in Ireland is an acceptance of the latest peer-reviewed scientific studies which have found that one third of the total increased methane emissions from all sources globally, over the past decade, is coming from US fracked gas (shale gas) and that Methane emissions are accelerating global warming by absorbing 87 times more heat than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period.  Scientists informed the Irish Parliamentary Committee on Climate Action in October that importing US fracked gas into Ireland has a carbon-equivalent footprint of at least  44% greater than importing coal over the full life-cycle. Scientists have shown that, unlike the case for carbon dioxide, the Climate System responds quickly to a reduction in methane emissions which, along with CO2 reduction measures, could provide the opportunity to immediately slow the rate of global warming by around half a degree celsius.


We welcome the clear Policy shift against LNG terminals and fracked gas in Ireland which was needed in the Programme for Government to allow the agreed legislative changes to be implemented in the next government. 


We take the commitments made by each of the parties as being made in good faith, and believe that they provide the basis we requested in order to ban LNG terminals and fracked gas in Ireland and therefore, as local NGOs campaigning against LNG terminals, Fracking and Fracked Gas imports into Ireland, endorse the Fracked Gas and LNG Energy Policy in the Programme for Government. 


Finally, we thank all the political parties involved in getting us to the  national consensus position we have today on Fracked gas imports and LNG terminals - to those parties involved in the negotiations for the Programme for Government today (Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Green Party), but also to all the other parties who helped get us to this point with special thanks to Brid Smith and the ‘People Before Profit’ party, to Sinn Fein, the Social Democrats, Labour and ‘Independents for Change’. 


Notes for Editor:

In a sign of growing national consensus around the issue, it was revealed in April that almost half of the TDs elected to the Dail have signed a pledge stating that they were "opposed to the importation of US fracked Gas into Ireland via LNG import terminals".


Before the election, in its #Pledge4Climate campaign environmental  NGOS, 'Love Leitrim' , 'Friends of the Earth' and 'Safety Before LNG' obtained support from at least 193  candidates for the General election held on February 8th, 2020, for the pledge which stated:


"I am 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 way in the next Dail to prevent fracked Gas from entering the Irish energy mix via fixed or floating LNG terminals. I am opposed to fracking in Northern Ireland .If elected, I, as a T.D., will work constructively in the next Dail to prevent 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 Green Party, 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.


These numbers 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".


Already, on October 3rd 2019, the Majority of Ireland's MEPs had told the European Commission not to allow fracked gas into Ireland via the Projects of Common Interest list. The Irish MEPs were supporting a motion 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:


"to remove any project from the proposed list of Projects of Common Interest that could support the building of an LNG facility in Ireland that 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 assessment of candidate PCI projects, that will address fossil fuel lock in and the long-term impacts of fracked gas in the European energy mix, given the expected change in climatic conditions."


On November 15th, 2019, at  the Youth Assembly on Climate Change held in Dail Eireann, Roisin Keegan-O'Rourke  made an appeal to the Irish public on behalf of communities in America and said it was "a justice as well as a climate issue" The ban is currently now one of 10 recommendations included in Ireland’s First Youth Proclamation on Climate. A ban in the Programme For Government means justice for those communities, that their words have been heard and it is an acknowledgement of the work of Ireland’s youth movement, including it's Youth Assembly and climate strikers. 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


On November 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 sure whether we are in a position to ban the import of fracked  gas from other jurisdictions. I will have to check it out"


On 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 scientific testimony at the Climate Committee meeting last year that importing fracked gas from the US has a carbon-equivalent footprint 44% greater than that of the coal of Moneypoint (without even considering the emissions from the LNG transport itself) . This is because the future review proposed by the Department does not 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.


The assessment of Methane Emissions promised by the European Commission for the 5th PCI list of projects in two years time is also gaming the system and pre-judging the assessment of fracked gas imports by only assessing the emissions taking place in the European Union and not the full life-cycle, non-territorial emissions from US fracked gas imports.


Over 150 NGOS and academics have so far supported our proposed LNG energy policy statement wording to be included in the Programme for Government which is:


"Liquefied Natural Gas

The new Government is not supportive of new fossil fuel infrastructure in the form of LNG import terminals that could facilitate the entry of unconventional liquefied natural gas into the Irish energy mix. Such imports may create a functional interdependence between Irish energy consumption and global warming due to the high levels of non-territorial methane emissions linked to the exploitation of global shale gas resources."


With two ongoing high-court legal challenges against the proposed Shannon LNG fracked gas import plan with no assessment of the climate impacts, a national consensus is building that there is no longer any tolerance for the importation of fracked gas into Ireland, given that we have already banned fracking in Ireland due to the negative health and climate impacts.


On April 30th, 2020, the European Court of Justice found that Shannon LNG's planning permission was invalid.

This means that Shannon LNG will have no valid planning permission after the ECJ findings are confirmed by the European Court of Justice and the Irish  High Court. It's permission for the pipeline from Tarbert to Foynes expired after 5 years.