FREE SUSTAINABLE LIVING COURSE IN DUNDALK
Do you want to learn more about how to use water and food more sustainably? Would you like to learn a bit about renewable energy? Why not sign up to the 6 week course, one evening per week, starting in O’Fiaich College, Dundalk on Monday, 7 November. The course is being organised by Development Perspectives – a Development Education organisation based in Drogheda. For details see http://www.developmentperspectives.ie/get-involved. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
RATIFICATION OF PARIS AGREEMENT EXPECTED: WHAT THEN?
Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten now plans to seek the approval of the Dáil for ratification of the Paris Agreement on global climate change. The next United National global summit on climate change is being held in Marrakesh, Morocco in November and it is the aim of the Government to have the Agreement fully ratified by Ireland in advance of the summit.
The move has been broadly welcomed as it had been thought that the Government was planning to delay ratification until negotiations with the EU on emissions targets for 2030 relating to agriculture were concluded. The challenge now is to implement actions that will substantially reduce Ireland’s climate damaging emissions – they are now increasing rather than decreasing.
The campaigning coalition Stop Climate Chaos is inviting people to contact their local TD and if possible meet them on Tuesday, 15November in Buswells Hotel, opposite the Dáil, to discuss Ireland’s plan to tackle climate change. According to Heather Mason, the Group’s coordinator, the focus of the day is “the challenges and opportunities for Ireland in the rapid and just transition to a carbon free future that is now imperative” They go on to say it requires the Government “to adopt a climate action plan in the next 9 months.” For details see http://www.stopclimatechaos.ie.
DÁIL TO BAN FRACKING?
Fracking is the term for extracting shale oil and gas from deep under the ground. The process involves pumping millions of gallons of water mixed with sand and toxic chemicals deep into the ground at explosive pressures. According to Friends of the Earth this process has serious negative impacts on the environment and the health of communities nearby. Particularly unacceptable they say is the contamination of surface and groundwater, including drinking water so for our health, for our land, and for our water fracking is bad news…but above all else fracking is bad for the health of our climate.
Later today (Thursday) there is a Bill to ban fracking in Ireland scheduled for debate in the Dáil. It is being put forward in ‘Private Members Time’ by Fine Gael TD for Sligo – Leitrim Deputy Tony Mc Loughlin. Most political parties have either a stated policy or declared in their election manifesto’s that they are opposed to fracking. Friends of the Earth and other anti-fracking campaign groups hope that there will be enough support in the Oireachtas for the Bill to be passed.
Tony McLoughlin TD, Sligo-Leitrim
CAMPAIGN FOR CLIMATE LEGISLATION IN THE NORTH
Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK not fully covered by the 2008 Climate Change Act, or complementary devolved legislation. Three groups, Christian Aid, Trocaire and Friends of the Earth, Northern Ireland have come together to highlight the issue. According to the coalition of campaigning groups this means that the Assembly has not committed to ensure that Northern Ireland does its fair share to meet global emissions reductions agreed in Paris in December 2015.
On Monday, 14 November, as the UN climate talks take place in Morocco, the Groups and supporters will be heading to Stormont to tell the politicians that they are letting the people of Northern Ireland and the planet down by not legislating for a carbon free future. Tickets are required for anyone who wishes to go along to support the groups. See the Facebook page ‘Dear Stormont, We Want to Talk about Climate Change’ or search for the event on Eventbrite.