Dublin, 29 June 2020
Members of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, the major political parties in Ireland, voted by a substantial majority to enter into a historic three-party coalition with the Green Party, endorsing a new programme for government that would end support for the controversial Shannon LNG project, removing it from the EU Projects of Common Interest list, and developing a policy statement to stop the imports for fracked gas altogether.
The EU Projects of Common Interest list covers priority energy infrastructure projects to be built in Europe, drawn up by the European Commission, member states and the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas (ENTSOG). Approved projects become eligible for EU funding under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).
The development in Ireland represents a major milestone for climate activists on both sides of the Atlantic, and is also a major blow for New Fortress Energy, the US investor of the Shannon LNG project that is behind the strongly criticized Gibbstown LNG export terminal proposed in New Jersey, USA.
“The Emerald Isle is lighting the way into a global frack-free future”, says Andy Gheorghiu, policy advisor for Food & Water Action Europe and co-initiator of the Irish campaign. “This Irish Government is set to become a true climate champion and will hopefully become an example to be followed by all European Member States.”
Food & Water Action executive director Wenonah Hauter said, “The Shannon LNG project would fuel more fracking in communities across the US who have suffered for over a decade from air and water pollution inextricably linked to this destructive industry. Fracking and gas infrastructure have no place in a sustainable future on either side of the Atlantic. By committing to removing Shannon LNG from the PCI list and stopping LNG imports, Ireland’s new government is showing the leadership we need to move the world rapidly off fossil fuels.”