Safety Before LNG
Exposing the truth about the New Fortress Energy 'Shannon LNG' project
Negative Effects on the Shannon Estuary
Nevada LNG Explosion

Press Releases

For Immediate Release
Press Release June 5th 2021: 


Bewilderment as the Green Party blocks all amendments to the Climate Bill that would legally ban fracked gas imports

The Green Party leader, Minister Eamon Ryan and the Green Party chairman of the Climate Committee, Deputy Brian Leddin, moved unilaterally this week to block all amendments banning fracked gas imports from being introduced in the Climate Bill and from being voted on in the Dáil.

Brian Leddin, the only Green Deputy representing an area west of the River Shannon in Limerick city, as chairman of the Climate Committee had previously signed in December the pre-legislative scrutiny report on the Climate Bill  which recommended  "that the Minister address in the Bill and/or revert to the Committee with a comprehensive plan to ban the importation of fracked gas and specifically to ban LNG terminals in Ireland within the year 2021”.

 However, on June 2nd Deputy Leddin completely reversed this position when he wrote to TDs that the proposed amendments banning fracked gas imports and support for a global ban on fracking “are not relevant to the provisions of the Bill and must be ruled out of order in accordance with Standing Order 187(1).”

 In an obviously-coordinated move, at the same time, Green Climate Action Minister Eamon Ryan was in the Dáil using a procedural trick that allowed him, as Minister, under the same standing order 187, to lay out a motion without debate giving a direct order to the Select Committee dealing with the Climate Bill that it could consider all amendments outside the provisions of the Bill, except for the amendments on fracking. This meant that Brian Leddin was able to declare all the fracking amendments to be out of order and to be quashed without debate and unable to proceed to the floor of the Dáil for a vote.

By using procedural tricks to rule amendments for a legislative ban on fracking out of order, Brian Leddin and Eamon Ryan have decided for the entire parliament that this question cannot be brought to the Dáil floor for a vote. This is very strange considering that Eamon Ryan, while in opposition in October 2019, had described fracked gas imports as "a climate change issue of the first order".

 In addition, the provisions of the bill are very clear as they are  “to provide for the approval of plans by the Government in relation to climate change for the purpose of pursuing the transition to a low carbon, climate resilient and environmentally sustainable economy”. Ruling a climate-mitigation initiative of banning fracked gas imports as “not relevant to the provisions of the Climate Bill” would therefore seem to have been done on very questionable legal grounds and is being interpreted by activists as grasping at straws. 'Plans' (and other words in the bill such as "climate-resilient", "sustainable"  and "climate justice") are not defined in the Act or the Bill and are therefore clearly open to interpretation.  Brian Leddin and Eamon Ryan used those words for their own political advantage to stop amendments on climate justice, climate mitigation and a ban fracked gas imports from being debated in the Dáil.

The actions of the Green Party are now raising grave concerns among activists following the realisation that the Greens are now voting systematically in  the Climate Committee against all proposed amendments by the opposition TDs to improve climate justice and just transition measures within the Climate Bill. It is an abuse of procedures to systematically waste taxpayers’ money in committee meetings in which all amendments proposed are going to be rejected. That is not correctly engaging in the process and is clearly acting in bad faith to avoid producing a fair and honest climate bill. The Amendment second stage in the Climate Committee is there for a purpose, which is to fix loopholes in the bill. Refusing to allow any amendments whatsoever is a clear abuse of procedure by the Green Party and has left climate activists bewildered as to the real motivation behind their actions. 

Sinn Féin Senator Lynn Boylan informed a Dáil Committee on May 26th that information she had “from the European Parliament's research service states Article 194 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union indicates that member states choose the conditions for exploiting their energy resources and which energy sources they use so they can, therefore, ban particular fossil fuels and structures if they so decide to”.

 In February, the Irish Centre for Human Rights’ Human Rights Law Clinic had already called on the Government to implement a ban on the importation of fracked gas by inserting into the Climate Bill a section that amends the Petroleum and Other Minerals Development Act 1960 in order to prohibit the importation or sale of fracked gas into Ireland. The Statement included a legal opinion demonstrating that the proposed statutory ban was compatible with EU, EFTA and WTO trade rules. 

In addition, the Human Rights Law Clinic published a further report on May 24th on the adverse International Human Rights Implications of unconventional oil and gas extraction (fracking). This report importantly highlighted that fracking has wide-ranging impacts on many human rights including the right to water, the right to food, the right to housing, the right to access to information, the right to public participation and the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, with violations of these rights having disproportionate impacts on marginalised and vulnerable communities and groups. The NUIG report notes that a significant body of scientific evidence now exists to demonstrate that fracking is dangerous to public health, water, air, climate stability, farming, property, and economic vitality in ways that cannot be mitigated through regulation.

 On May 18th, the government published a world’s-first policy against fracked gas imports. The policy statement   declared: 

"the placing of a legal prohibition on the importation of fracked gas in national legislation has been considered and legal advice has been provided by the Attorney General. In the context of European Union Treaties and the laws governing the internal energy market, it is considered that a legal ban on the importation of fracked gas could not be put in place at this time".

 However, Tanáiste Leo Varadkar stated on May 26th:

I have not read the legal advice from the Attorney General on that matter. I have only read the memorandum brought to Cabinet by the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Deputy Eamon Ryan. The best thing to do is take it up with him. The issues around LNG and the Energy Charter Treaty are matters for him, as Minister.

 By preventing any consideration of a fracked gas import ban, advice from the Attorney General against such a ban cannot now be examined by the Committee. 

 Ultimately, the true motivation behind the Green Party’s move against a legislative ban on fracked gas imports remains a mystery and has left local activists baffled and disappointed. The fear is that keeping the door open for Shannon LNG may still be the motivating factor.

 Urgency of Stopping the Shannon LNG fracked gas import project

On March 1st, Shannon LNG confirmed to the Department for the Environment that it is in "pre-application consultation with An Bord Pleanála" and that it would "launch a public information event shortly, and subject to ABP's guidance, submit the application quickly thereafter".

 The policy statement only states "it would not be appropriate for the development of any LNG terminals in Ireland to be permitted or proceeded with" but this will not be enough to stop Shannon LNG from launching a full planning application with the status of ''overriding public interest" because the Department successfully argued in the High Court that Shannon LNG should be kept on the 4th PCI List. Shannon LNG holds the status of EU Project of Common Interest until early 2022 due to its 4th-PCI-listed status. If the written policy against fracked gas imports and LNG terminals is not acted upon immediately then the company risks succeeding in getting planning permission as it is still a project currently deemed to be in the overriding public interest.

As highlighted by us on April 14th, the Minister for Planning could formally move to implement the new policy and issue the published policy against fracked gas imports and LNG terminals as guidelines to both An Bord Pleanala and all Planning Authorities under Section 28 of the Planning and Development Act, 2000 which states “The Minister may, at any time, issue guidelines to planning authorities regarding any of their functions under this Act and planning authorities shall have regard to those guidelines in the performance of their functions”. By law, these guidelines must then be laid before both Houses of the Oireachtas. This has not been done to date.

Legislation to ban fracked gas imports is a clear option open to the Eamon Ryan to close off the fracked gas import Shannon LNG project 4th PCI List loophole but this week the Green Minister and his party colleague Brian Leddin, in his powerful position of chairman of the Climate Committee, resisted doing so and instead both proactively worked against a fracking import ban being proposed  as an amendment to the  Climate Bill.


The bill continues at Committee stage next Tuesday. 



1. View our tweet here on the issue:

2. A full list of all the proposed amendments to the Climate Bill can be found here:

3. The amendments ruled out of order can be seen here:

From: Public Bills <>

Sent: Wednesday 2 June 2021 21:14


Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill 2021



Note for the information of Members:

It is proposed to group the following amendments for the purpose of debate:

1, 153 and 167;

2 to 4, inclusive, 230, 231 and 239;

7, 8, 41, 50, 52, 64, 65, 70, 71, 90, 95, 100 to 102, inclusive, 211 and 237;

10 to 15, inclusive;

20 to 23, inclusive;

28 and 29;

30 to 32, inclusive;

39 and 40;

44, 51, 57, 58, 67, 68, 142, 143, 149;

45 to 47, inclusive, 86 and 203;

61 to 63, inclusive;

73 to 85, inclusive;

88 and 89;

91, 92 and 96;

93, 204, 212;

103 and 104;

107, 108, 111 and 112;

113 to 116, inclusive;

117, 118 and 121 to 140, inclusive;

155 to 161, inclusive, 163 and 164;

165 and 166;

169 to 172, inclusive, and 174 to 180, inclusive;

182 to 191, inclusive;

205 to 208, inclusive;

213 and 214;

219, 220 and 229;

221 to 223, inclusive; and

224 to 228, inclusive.

The following amendments are out of order: 35, 36, 38, 53, 56, 59, 87, 97, 105, 106, 109, 110, 119, 120, 144 to 147, inclusive, 150, 151, 162, 193, 201, 215 to 217, inclusive, and 232 to 234, inclusive.

All other amendments which are not grouped will be discussed individually.

 Beartas ríomhphoist an Oireachtais agus séanadh.

Oireachtas email policy and disclaimer.


John McElligott
Safety Before LNG