Government must end Ireland’s dependence on fossil fuels “fast, fair and forever”

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Demonstration in front of Poolbeg chimneys as Coalition leaders head to New York for UN sustainability summits

Friends of the Earth today [17th September] organized a public demonstration in front of the Poolbeg Chimneys on Sunday as part of Global Day Of Action to End Fossil Fuels. Demonstrations are taking place around the world as national leaders are gathering in New York for two UN summits, one on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and a special Climate Ambition Summit, called by UN Secretary General, Antonio Gutteres, who has become increasingly outspoken in his criticism of fossil fuels and the need for urgent action. The three Coalition leaders, the Taoiseach, Tanaiste and the Minister for Environment will all be in New York this coming week.

The demonstration on Sandymount Strand, which has been endorsed by organizations including Trócaire, Christian Aid, Not Here Not Anywhere, Young Friends of the Earth and Christian Blind Mission, called on the Government to end our dependence on dirty, expensive, fossil fossils “fast, fair, and forever”


Speaking at Sunday’s event, Friends of the Earth chief executive, Oisín Coghlan said:

“The case for getting off fossil fuels has never been clearer. The UN Secretary General recently confirmed what we already knew - climate breakdown has begun and that we're now entering the era of "global boiling". Ireland is very much part of the problem - the country remains hugely dependent on polluting expensive fossil fuels and to make matters worse, the Government is still considering more polluting gas infrastructure.

“We have to draw a line in the sand. Fossil fuels must stay in the ground now, not in 20 years time. We are calling on the Government to reject new fossil fuel infrastructure, particularly any Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal that would lock Ireland into using polluting methane gas for decades to come. 

“We also need the Government to drive down demand for fossil fuel energy. That means setting a date for a ban on new gas boilers for industry and homes. We say 2028. And it means getting a grip on the unregulated growth of data centre demand for electricity which is driving demand for gas. Data centres used 18% of Ireland’s electricity in 2022, that’s almost twice the amount used by all rural homes put together, and projected to use 30% by 2030. The European average is less than 3%.

“And in the run up to the COP28 UN climate summit it's also important the Government supports global efforts to phase out fossil fuels, particularly through a new treaty to end the expansion of fossil fuels.”

Chloe and Poolbeg Towers

Demonstrators gathered at Sandymount Strand at noon on Sunday to spell out End Fossil Fuels in the sand in front of the Poolbeg chimneys and gather around their demand with personal placards, banners and papier-mâché model of Planet Earth.

End Fossil Fuels with Rosie Fitzpatrick, age 6