One step away from full victory: Draft programme for next Irish government rejects fracked gas import terminals

Dublin, 15 June 2020

After weeks of behind the scenes negotiations, a leaked draft programme for the next Irish Government seeks to stop all proposed fracked gas imports, including the controversial Shannon LNG terminal.

If approved by party members, these commitments would represent a substantial victory for climate activists and anti-fracking campaigners around the world.

Ireland’s former ruling parties Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael agreed with the Green Party on the following wording for the Government programme of the next five years:

As Ireland moves towards carbon neutrality, we do not believe that it makes sense to develop LNG gas import terminals importing fracked gas, accordingly we shall withdraw the Shannon LNG terminal from the EU Projects of Common Interest list in 2021.

 We do not support the importation of fracked gas and shall develop a policy statement to establish that approach.“

All three parties have to get permission from their membership now to form a government and implement the programme.

This development is 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 in New Jersey, USA.

“After the co-initiating this campaign and constant support for the cause, I’m more than happy with this major step forward”, says Andy Gheorghiu, anti-fracking policy advisor and campaigner for Food & Water Action Europe. “With an import ban of climate hostile and environmentally destructive fracked gas, the Irish Government shows true global climate leadership by creating a decisive legal precedent that could truly shake up markets and pave the way for the much needed clean energy transition.”

Food & Water Action executive director Wenonah Hauter said, “The consensus is growing across the Atlantic that fracking and gas infrastructure have no place in a sustainable future. Ireland’s next coalition government needs a strong policy that formally rejects climate hostile gas infrastructure like LNG, in the same way the country has already rejected fracking. Anything less would simply lock us into more climate chaos, while exporting the dangers of fracking on communities across the world.”