Quantcast

Irish Parliament Votes to Ban New Fossil Fuel Exploration

Popular
Fungie the dolphin in Ireland, where 250,000 bottlenose dolphins visit every summer. Belinda Wicks

Ireland's Dáil Éireann, the country's lower house of parliament, voted 78-48 Thursday to advance a bill to stop the government from issuing new contracts for both on and offshore oil and gas exploration.

Despite strong opposition from the Irish government, the legislation was backed by thousands of activists, campaigners, parliamentarians as well as a surprising supporter who believes in life after oil: Cher.


The "Climate Emergency Measures Bill," introduced by Solidarity-People Before Profit deputy Bríd Smith, underscores how fossil fuels are major contributors to climate change and how keeping them in the ground will prevent further damage to the environment.

"If we take the Paris climate agreement seriously the Oireachtas (parliament) will support this bill," Smith said during the vote.

Music icon Cher threw in her weight after a tweet from Green Party member Sinéad Mercier stating: "Ireland has 250,000 bottlenose dolphins visiting our seas every summer—we want to become the fourth country in the world to ban oil and gas drilling to protect them!"

The "Believe" singer responded, #HELLTOTHEYES.

In a follow-up tweet, Mercier presented two images of the various licenses for oil and gas drilling and seismic airgun testing granted by the government.

"Ireland has amazing blue whales, dolphins and cold water coral reefs in these areas," she noted.

The bill now heads to the Committee Stage in the parliament for scrutiny.

"Yesterday, the vote on the Climate Emergency Bill was a triumphant win in the struggle to stop climate chaos and environmental destruction," Ireland's Green Party tweeted Friday. "However, we have won the battle but not the war. We must make sure the bill is not stalled when at committee stage."

The Irish government opposes the measure over "energy security" concerns.

Last year, Ireland enacted legislation that banned onshore fracking.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

An aerial view of a neighborhood destroyed by the Camp Fire on Nov. 15, 2018 in Paradise, Calif. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Respecting scientists has never been a priority for the Trump Administration. Now, a new investigation from The Guardian revealed that Department of the Interior political appointees sought to play up carbon emissions from California's wildfires while hiding emissions from fossil fuels as a way to encourage more logging in the national forests controlled by the Interior department.

Read More
Slowing deforestation, planting more trees, and cutting emissions of non-carbon dioxide greenhouse gases like methane could cut another 0.5 degrees C or more off global warming by 2100. South_agency / E+ / Getty Images

By Dana Nuccitelli

Killer hurricanes, devastating wildfires, melting glaciers, and sunny-day flooding in more and more coastal areas around the world have birthed a fatalistic view cleverly dubbed by Mary Annaïse Heglar of the Natural Resources Defense Council as "de-nihilism." One manifestation: An increasing number of people appear to have grown doubtful about the possibility of staving-off climate disaster. However, a new interactive tool from a climate think tank and MIT Sloan shows that humanity could still meet the goals of the Paris agreement and limit global warming.

Read More
Sponsored
A baby burrowing owl perched outside its burrow on Marco Island, Florida. LagunaticPhoto / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Burrowing owls, which make their homes in small holes in the ground, are having a rough time in Florida. That's why Marco Island on the Gulf Coast passed a resolution to pay residents $250 to start an owl burrow in their front yard, as the Marco Eagle reported.

Read More
Amazon and other tech employees participate in the Global Climate Strike on Sept. 20, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. Amazon Employees for Climate Justice continue to protest today. Karen Ducey / Getty Images

Hundreds of Amazon workers publicly criticized the company's climate policies Sunday, showing open defiance of the company following its threats earlier this month to fire workers who speak out on climate change.

Read More
Locusts swarm from ground vegetation as people approach at Lerata village, near Archers Post in Samburu county, approximately 186 miles north of Nairobi, Kenya on Jan. 22. "Ravenous swarms" of desert locusts in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia threaten to ravage the entire East Africa subregion, the UN warned on Jan. 20. TONY KARUMBA / AFP / Getty Images

East Africa is facing its worst locust infestation in decades, and the climate crisis is partly to blame.

Read More