Response from Minister Simon Coveney to Clare PPN’s request that Ireland propose a global ban on fracking at the UN.
At Clare PPN’s last Plenary Meeting on May 11th a motion was passed that we should ask the Government to propose a Global Ban on the practice of fracking to the UN. Our Councillors in Clare passed a similar motion on our and other environmental groups requests. Clare PPN wrote to the Taoiseach, Micheal Martin, and to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence Simon Coveney TD. We received a receipt of reply from the office of An Taoiseach and on Monday 12th July this response from the office of Minister Coveney.
Subject: Response to your correspondence – Reference No: DFA-MCO-04134-2021
Reference No: DFA-MCO-04134-2021
Dear Ms. Clancy,
On behalf of the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, Mr. Simon Coveney T.D., I wish to thank you for your correspondence on behalf of Clare Public Participation Network and for raising this important proposal.
The work of civil society and community and voluntary groups in bringing the concept of a resolution for a global ban on fracking to its current point is to be congratulated.
As you will be aware from the Programme for Government, the Government does not support the importation of fracked gas and committed to developing a Policy Statement to establish that approach. This Statement was published on 18 May 2021 and outlines both constraints and opportunities for Government action in this area, notably given European Union obligations.
Minister Coveney has consulted widely with partners, including through Irelandâ€™s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, on the question of whether this is the appropriate time to bring forward a resolution along the lines the civil society and academic organisations have developed. The Minister regrets to say that it does not seem to be an opportune time to push for a resolution, with more advocacy needed by civil society and others before the necessary alliances required to get a resolution over the line would emerge â€“ unfortunately, some time away. Minister Coveney’s priority for this year is take maximum opportunity from Irelandâ€™s Security Council term, including the Security Councilâ€™s engagement on the Climate and Security agenda.
Nevertheless, Minister Coveney, with his Government colleagues, is committed to taking action in ways which are consistent with your proposal. In the short term, the revision of the European Unionâ€™s Gas Directive and Gas Regulation provides an opportunity to try to build consensus within the EU, itself an important constituency for any work at the UN.
Separately, upcoming climate related events provide an opportunity to advance understanding of international dynamics around your proposal. Such events include the United Nations High-Level Dialogue on Energy in September 2021, the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity to be held in October 2021 (COP15), the Conference of Parties to United National Framework Convention on Climate Change in November 2021 (COP26), the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (date TBC), and the United Nations Ocean Conference to be held in 2022.
Minister Coveney wishes you the best in your continuing work on this important agenda.
Private Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs