09 November 2020
Washington/Brussels/Dublin – After a long legal battle, Irish activists achieved a major High Court victory on the Shannon LNG terminal project, owned by the US company New Fortress Energy, which would deliver fracked gas to European markets.
Back in 2018, the Irish planning authority An Bord Pleanála extended the 2008 planning permission for another five years without a previous public consultation on the need for LNG development – a decision that was heavily criticized by the environmental community.
Friends of the Irish Environment challenged this decision, and on November 9, the High Court released an order which quashes the existing permission, requiring from New Fortress Energy to restart a completely new and lengthy application process that would also be subject to a public consultation.
The movement against the Shannon project has been building momentum over the past several years. Back in 2019, it was revealed that the Shannon terminal appeared on the European Projects of Common Interest (PCI) list, without any assessment of its climate or sustainability impacts. A complaint put forward by Andy Gheorghiu, Policy Advisor for Food & Water Europe, made the EU Ombudsman open an official inquiry into the failure to consider the climate impacts of this new infrastructure.
In June 2020, the major political parties in Ireland voted to enter into a historic three-party coalition with the Green Party, endorsing a new programme for government that would end support for the Shannon LNG project and develop a policy statement to stop the imports for fracked gas altogether.
“The decision of the Irish High Court represents a major blow and maybe the final nail in the coffin for the Irish LNG plans of New Fortress Energy”, says Andy Gheorghiu, Policy Advisor for Food & Water Europe. “And fracked gas is facing serious trouble across Europe. In recent weeks, we saw France reject a major US LNG deal on climate grounds, and economic uncertainties have forced the German-Finnish energy major Uniper to completely re-evaluate plans for the LNG terminal in Wilhelmshaven, a sought-after location for US fracked gas.”
Andy Gheorghiu, Policy Advisor for Food & Water Action Europe
Email: [email protected], Phone: +49 160 20 30 974