Release 16th April 2023:
Groups write an Open Letter to Green Party Minister for Energy, Eamon
Ryan, on LNG U-turn.
In only 48 hours, 150 Groups from a cross
section of Irish and International society, have signed an open letter
to Energy Minister Eamon Ryan calling on him to confirm he will not
make any LNG U-turn on the current agreed government policy against LNG
and the importation of fracked gas to Ireland.
The signatories express deep concern about the recent article published
in the Sunday Business Post on April 9th, which suggested that Green
Party policy banning fracked gas terminals may be reversed, calling on
the Green Party leader to confirm that this is not the case.
The Green Party policy was a red line issue in the negotiations to
enter coalition with Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil.
Signatories include Trócaire, Friends of The Earth, Christian
Aid Ireland and the Irish Wildlife Trust. Political support has been
offered by various politicians including Senators Alice-Mary Higgins,
Frances Black and David Norris, MEPs Mick Wallace and Clare Daly, TDs Bríd Smith,
Paul Murphy, Mairéad Farrell and Neasa Hourigan and local
councillors. There has been significant international support for the
letter including from the Concerned Health Professionals of
Pennsylvania and North American fracked communities that would be
directly affected by the importation of US fracked gas into Ireland by
LNG. Some of the most powerful testimonies in the comments accompanying
the letter are from people in these impacted communities.
The comments attached to the open letter by signatories demonstrate the
level of shock in civil society at the implications of a Green Party
Minister changing the current official government policy against Fracked Gas imports and LNG
terminals, in place since May 2021.
- Leitrim IFA say “Leitrim
IFA Farmers worked hard to bring about a ban on fracking and understand
the threat importing fracked gas brings to both our own farm families
and to affected communities in the United States”.
- Concerned Health Professionals of
Pennsylvania say “There is no method
of fracking that is not a threat to health. LNG is certainly a threat
to health and climate stability”.
- Renowned Canadian Anti-Fracking activist
Jessica Ernst from Alberta says: “If
you allow LNG, which is frac'd gas (there is nothing natural about it),
you and your government will cause more and more and more families to
be harmed in North America, like I was. Don't do it. The harms are
massive. There are better ways”.
- Environmental Scientist, Dr. Laura Kehoe
says "Both the scientific and the moral case are crystal clear, Shannon
LNG must be stopped. To even consider new fossil fuel infrastructure in
the age of climate breakdown is the height of absurdity".
The open letter was initiated by
grassroots organisations Futureproof Clare,
Safety Before LNG, Slí Eile and Love Leitrim. Minister
Ryan is due to bring his recommendation on LNG to Government in the
weeks. The initiators said the letter will remain open for sign ons
until the final decision on LNG is made.
Notes to the editor
This is the open letter:
Open Letter to Minister for Energy, Eamon Ryan, Leader of the Green
Party on LNG U-turn.
Dear Minister Ryan,
We are deeply concerned about the recent article published
in the Sunday Business Post on April 9th, which suggested that Green
Party policy banning fracked gas terminals may be reversed, and we are
calling on you to confirm that this is not the case.
An Bord Pleanála is currently awaiting your policy response to the
outcome of the forthcoming energy review, before it rules on planning
permission for the Shannon LNG US fracked gas import terminal.
We remind you of the following:
These statements highlight the importance of
holding the line of the current agreed government policy against the
importation of fracked gas to Ireland.
- In October 2019, you told
the Dáil: “This
[Shannon LNG project] is a climate change issue of the first
order. This government, if it wants to show its climate
leadership should stop this project now".
- The 2020 Programme for Government stated: “As
Ireland moves towards carbon neutrality, we do not believe that it
makes sense to develop LNG gas import terminals importing fracked gas.
We do not support the importation of fracked gas and shall develop a
policy statement to establish that approach”.
- In June 2020, you tweeted: “.@SafetyBeforeLng
rest assured, if we can agree to the #PFG [Programme for Government] we
will implement the policies which will see an end to the importation of
fracked gas via any LNG terminals in Ireland. We've better energy
alternatives available & for everyone's sake we need to
- In May 2021, on behalf of the Irish
government, you published a historic World’s First policy against
the importation of fracked gas and stated: “Fracked
gas causes environmental damage both locally where it is extracted and
globally and Ireland, having banned its exploitation onshore, should
not impose these environmental risks on other communities around the
globe. I remain as determined as ever to halt the damage caused by
fracking and will pursue all opportunities at a European level and also
at an international level to do so”.
- In October 2021, 76 Irish politicians
joined over 1,500 people objecting
to a new planning application lodged by Shannon LNG at An Bord
Pleanála on planning, climate-mitigation, public health,
environmental-protection and human-rights grounds. You also wrote directly as Minister for Energy to An Bord
Pleanála stating “I
wish to make it very clear that the permitting of this project would be
in direct contravention to Government policy and therefore it should
not, under any circumstances, be permitted”.
The war in Ukraine and the Nord Stream pipeline bombing are not reasons
to import fracked gas, especially in the face of the recent
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report which clearly states that “the continued installation of unabated
fossil fuel infrastructure will ‘lock-in’ GHG emissions”. Your
department commissioned the detailed research carried out by CEPA to
inform the Energy Review
you are now deciding on. The publication of this research was delayed
to consider the full impacts of the war in Ukraine and especially the
impact of a full suspension of all Russian pipeline exports of natural
gas to European markets on Irish security of supply. A commercial LNG
terminal, such as proposed by Shannon LNG, was still specifically ruled
out as one of the preferred options in the scenario we now have with
the destruction of the Nord Stream pipeline.
In light of the Sunday Business Post article, we call on you to confirm
publicly and without delay, that you will honour the commitment you
made to the Irish electorate - to implement a policy of banning fracked gas imports via any LNG
terminals in Ireland.
See the full list of signatories: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AxkPMyMh83L0yaMwtN2a5FDblfCM7v6iM-1Fc9RWdKY/preview
For groups/organisations/public representatives to sign up please click here )
For inquiries, contact us directly by Twitter (https://twitter.com/UNBanOnFracking)
or by email (GlobalBanOnFracking@gmail.com).