Written answers

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Photo of Clare DalyClare Daly (Dublin Fingal, Independent)
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172. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if his attention has been drawn to the fact that leakage of methane during fracking, processing and transport to here means that the Shannon LNG project, for which permission was extended by An Bord Pleanála in July 2018, will be more harmful to the climate than a new coal-fired power station; and the way in which this decision by An Bord Pleanála fits with Ireland’s urgent obligations to move away from harmful fossil fuels and towards renewable energy. [47561/18]

Photo of Richard BrutonRichard Bruton (Dublin Bay North, Fine Gael)
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The 2015 Energy White PaperIreland's Transition to a Low Carbon Energy Futuresets out a road-map for Ireland to reduce its Greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% by 2050. The strategy is clear that non-renewable energy sources will make a significant – though progressively smaller – contribution to our energy mix over the course of the energy transition. The National Mitigation Plan, published in July 2017, restates the Government’s commitment to move from a fossil fuel-based electricity system to a low-carbon power system. Investment in further renewable generation will be incentivised.

Ireland’s energy policy is fully aligned with the EU’s climate and energy objectives on the transition to decarbonisation, which includes continuous and on-going review of policies to reduce harmful emissions, improve energy efficiency, incentivise efficient and sustainable infrastructure investment, integrate markets, and promote research and innovation while ensuring our energy security of supply is maintained and enhanced.

During this transition, gas has the potential to deliver significant and sustained benefits, particularly in terms of enhanced security of supply. Natural Gas has the potential to play an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the power generation, industrial and commercial, residential and transport sectors by replacing more CO2-intensive fossil fuels. In Ireland gas powered generation also provides an important back-up for intermittent renewable wind generation.

The Deputy will appreciate that the LNG project to which the Deputy refers is a private commercial project and any future investment decisions on the development of this project are a matter for the project promoter.

An Bord Pleanála is independent in the exercise of its functions and a copy of its decision in relation to the Shannon LNG project is on the An Bord Pleanála website.


John McElligott (Safety Before LNG)
Posted on 22 Nov 2018 3:43 pm (Report this comment)

The latest Shannon LNG project is about importing FRACKED gas from America. The most up-to-date scientific data is proving that gas sourced from Fracking is dirtier than coal.

The minister did not answer the question of whether he was aware Shannon LNG would "be more harmful to the climate" than coal due to the fact that it will be importing fracked gas.

The "gas as a transitional fuel" mantra is a policy therefore, that is now completely out of date but this seems to be about to be ignored until after the Shannon LNG project is built.

These are really strange comments from the Minister and the disastrous effects on climate that Shannon LNG will bring means that this cannot be solely "a matter for the project promoter" as the Minister responsible for Climate protection seems to contend.

The Department will soon have to declare if the Irish authorities are already involved in negotiating imports of Shale gas or LNG in terms of long or short-term contracts, given that there is no public policy to support fracked gas in the Irish Energy Mix. The extension of the expired planning permission for the Shannon LNG project is currently being seriously challenged in the Irish High Court on environmental grounds, including that no account has been taken of the environmental obligations of the Paris Climate Agreement ratified by Ireland.

John McElligott
Safety Before LNG

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