Shannon LNG dead in the water after Planning Permission refusal

View all news

Shannon LNG dead in the water after Planning Permission refusal

The final nail in the coffin after a decade long grassroots campaign to stop the polluting project

Today, 15 September 2023, An Bord Pleanála issued its decision to finally reject planning permission for the proposed development of a polluting and dangerous Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal in Ballylongford Co. Kerry. This rejection comes after more than 15 years of campaigning by civil society organisations in Ireland and the US.

The Board based its decision on Government policy which is clear in its opposition to permanent LNG developments. The Board highlighted the Government's Policy Statement 2021 which noted that it would not be appropriate to permit the development of any LNG terminals in Ireland pending the completion of the Government's energy security review. 

The Board also noted the independent technical analysis released as part of the Government's public consultation on energy security 2022. This independent expert analysis was significant in that it rejected a commercial operated LNG facility as an energy security option given it would “likely result in the importation of fracked gas to Ireland…embedded emissions in LNG can exceed that of natural gas….no guarantee that stored gas volumes would be sufficient to cover a security of supply shock…”.

The Board ultimately concluded that the proposed Shannon LNG development is contrary to public policy, proper planning and sustainable development. The Board also rejected arguments regarding other potential developments at the site given the "clear focus on the use of LNG".

Jerry Mac Evilly, Head of Policy in Friends of the Earth stated:

“This planning refusal is welcome, right, far-reaching and hard-fought. It has been clear from the get-go that a long-lasting commercial LNG terminal would mean polluting gas for decades to come. We are finally seeing the decision-making of state bodies line up with our climate obligations.” 

“The decision vindicates the tenacity of grassroots campaigners that have opposed LNG from the beginning. Shannon LNG would have posed unacceptable risks to our climate and communities in Kerry and the US. Activists on both sides of the Atlantic have been tireless in their opposition, particularly given the risk that the terminal would allow for importation of polluting fracked gas, a form of fossil fuel that has devastated large parts of the US.”

“It is striking that the Board’s decision focused the fact that the terminal would run roughshod over the 2021 Government’s Policy Statement (which introduced a moratorium on LNG and fracked gas imports) and the Government’s expert analysis which rejected the terminal as an energy security solution. These policy developments were only achieved due to the often thankless efforts of activists - from legal cases, to campaigns around the general election and Programme for Government, right up to continued advocacy in 2023. It must be acknowledged too that the Programme for Government, negotiated between the Green Party and Fine Gael and Fianns Fáil, has delivered on its promise in this regard.

This decision is also just one step in getting Ireland off polluting fossil fuels. As the head of the International Energy Agency said just this week We are witnessing the beginning of the end of the fossil fuel era and we have to prepare ourselves for the next era. We need to ensure government departments and state agencies assess fossil fuel projects in accordance with the State’s climate policy. Government must be clear in its opposition to fossil fuel infrastructure which risks locking Ireland into using polluting methane gas for decades to come.

Categorised in:
Tagged with:
No New Gas