Clare TD Lobby for Climate Action – what now?

Clare TD Lobby for Climate Action – what now?

Clare TD Lobby for Climate Action – what now?

On December 7th Clare PPN co-hosted online meetings with each of Clare’s four TDs, as part of a nationwide ’TD Lobby for Faster & Fairer Climate Action’. This ‘mass lobby’, organised by the Stop Climate Chaos coalition, has happened in previous years at a venue next to Leinster House in Dublin, but this was the first time the event took place online. This had the advantage of far more people taking part – nationally, more than 1,000 people joined Zoom calls with their local TDs, to tell them how urgent the need for radical climate action is.

We also had a great turnout here in Clare and we had very meaningful and constructive discussions with our four Dáil representatives. (The above image is from the meeting with Cathal Crowe TD.)

One of the organisers of the Clare TD lobby, Romie Cullen of Tuamgraney, was quoted in an Irish Times article about the event:
“People from our community are taking part because we’re alarmed about loopholes in the climate Bill. We’ll be asking our TDs to do everything they can to make the new climate law as strong as possible to drive the rapid and just transition we need to zero pollution. The draft Bill as it stands today is simply not good enough.”

The key demand was for TDs to sign a letter, drafted by Stop Climate Chaos, and to send it to Micheál Martin, Leo Varadkar and Eamon Ryan. The letter highlights concrete steps the Government can immediately take to kickstart a decade of faster and fairer climate action, including closing the glaring loopholes in the Climate Action Bill and acting urgently to cut emissions in all sectors.

By the way, the Climate Action Bill has been undergoing pre-legislative scrutiny at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action (JOCCA), which has just published its report on the Bill. You can download it here.

And Stop Climate Chaos has published its response to the Committee’s report: ‘Today’s recommendations, if accepted by Government, would greatly strengthen the draft Climate Bill

During the meetings with TDs, participants in Clare also raised several other issues:

• Plans for Moneypoint power station, for example, whether it can be used as part plans for offshore wind or tidal energy.

• The proposed Shannon LNG gas import terminal on the Shannon Estuary and the wider issue of the possible importation of fracked gas elsewhere in Ireland.

• Another issue raised with TDs was the lack of engagement by Clare County Council with environmental submissions made to the council by member groups of Clare Environmental Network and Clare PPN. Some of the TDs offered to help raised awareness about this problem.

The first Zoom call was with Cathal Crowe (FF), who said he would advocate against allowing the importation of fracked gas to Ireland, He also raised the issue of Irish Cement’ proposed incinerator at its plant in Mungret, Limerick, and he asked the group to lodge objections with the EPA.

Joe Carey (FG) promised to raise the urgency of strong and effective climate action with Minister Eamonn Ryan.

Violet-Anne Wynne (SF) has agreed to sign the above-mentioned letter to the three Government party leaders. At the time of writing she is the only Clare TD who has undertaken to sign the letter. The others said they would read it and consider signing it.

Our final call was with Michael McNamara (Ind). He promised to raise the issue of fracked gas imports with the government party leaders, and he suggested that he could table an amendment to the Climate Action Bill, when it comes before the Dáil next year.

All four TDs agreed to meet the group again in the new year for further discussions on climate action. Nationally, Stop Climate Chaos is awaiting developments with the Climate Action Bill – there may be further mass lobbying of TDs in late January or February.

If you would like to be involved in the group’s further discussions with our TDs, please email: clareTDlobby@gmail.com

Draft Wellbeing Vision Statements for Clare and Municipal Districts

Draft Community Wellbeing Vision Statements for County Clare:

Beginning in October 2020 Clare Public Participation Network conducted a process of creating Community Wellbeing Visions for Clare. The process involved consultation with the general public via an online survey, consultation and appraisal of the results of this survey with Clare PPN members at our October Plenary Meeting, and this was then followed by eight online meetings – two held in each of Clare’s four Municipal Districts.

Following the above three steps Clare PPN staff compiled the attached Draft Community Wellbeing Vision Statements -there are five in total with one being an overall summary which applies to County Clare as a whole and the four others each relating to one of Clare’s Municipal Districts.  We are presenting these statements here in draft form and inviting our member groups to take the chance to read them and to propose any changes, additions or correct any omissions as you see fit.

These statements will be used to guide the work and priorities of Clare PPN staff and secretariat and our  representatives on Committees. They will also be used along with further specific policy consultations to guide and inform submissions made by Clare PPN to local and national policies. We propose that these wellbeing vision statements will be kept as ‘open’ documents for Clare PPN and that they will be offered for consideration and review to members once per year so that we ensure they remain relevant and current.

For those who participated in our consultation process we would like to draw it to your attention that some of the very specific suggestions around actions or particular developments in the county were included in Clare PPN’s two submissions to the pre draft stage of Clare County Council’s County Development Plan. You can read those submissions here:

We are most grateful to all who participated in this worthwhile project so far and we encourage you to send any further thoughts or input to us by emailing sarah@clareppn.ie  by January 15th 2020 after which these Community Wellbeing Visions will be deemed adopted.

Clare PPN County Level Wellbeing Vision Statement

Clare PPN Draft Wellbeing Vision Statement Ennis MD

Clare PPN Draft Wellbeing Vision Statement West Clare MD

Clare PPN Draft Wellbeing Vision Statement Killaloe MD

Clare PPN Draft Wellbeing Vision Statement Shannon MD