Minister Ryan must put a stop to LNG terminal construction

Ivana Bacik TD
19 April 2023
  • Embedding dirty fuel infrastructure in our energy system is contrary to Ireland’s legally binding climate targets

Labour Leader and spokesperson for Climate Action, Ivana Bacik TD, has called on the Minister for the Environment and Climate to clarify his position on fracked gas imports, following recent comments that his Party’s policy in support of a ban may be reversed.

Deputy Bacik said:

“I am puzzled by Minister Ryan’s equivocation on this issue given that the executive summary of the Green Party’s most recent election manifesto called for an end to the issuing of oil and gas exploration and extraction licences and against the importation of fracked gas. It would be quite the U-turn for the Party to abandon a policy which it deemed important enough to include on the first page of its manifesto, just two years ago.

“Indeed, the Programme for Government commits to withdrawing the Shannon LNG terminal from the EU Projects of Common Interest list, acknowledging that it would not make sense to develop gas import terminals importing fracked gas.

“I commend Love Leitrim, Futureproof Clare and Safety Before LNG for drafting an open letter to Minister Ryan, calling on him to restate his commitment to the ban. The letter now has in excess of 150 signatories, including community organisations, academics, environmentalists, and political groups, including the Labour Party, speaks to the strong public support for such a ban.

“Despite the bluster from a minority of climate change deniers, the public wants a better, safer, cleaner environment. The Government should give effect to that will.

“The new Climate Act is undoubtedly an achievement of the Green Party in Government. However, it is not worth the paper it is written on if Government policy proactively undermines it.

“If Ireland is to play its part in keeping global warming below the 2 degree limit established by the UN IPCC, undiscovered oil and gas should remain in the ground. That is without mentioning the catastrophic LNG explosions we have seen in the Americas and across Europe, which have endangered human life, as well as causing environmental disaster.

“So long as Ireland has untapped wind energy and solar potential, the Government must focus its efforts on developing renewable powers, not further entrenching our reliance on dirty fuels.

“We are now well into the key decade where we need to be drastically moving towards net-zero carbon emissions. António Guterres was unequivocal: without a rapid switch to renewable energy, global warming in excess of 1.5 degrees this century is unavoidable, resulting in catastrophic weather events and loss of human life across the world. There can be no circumventing of our targets. A commercial LNG facility would be contrary to our emissions targets. Minister Ryan’s lack of clarity does not pass muster with environmental campaigners, or indeed his own party members.”

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