Bill to ban fossil fuel exploration set to appear before the Dail next month


January 26th, 2018

A Bill to ban any new explorations for oil, coal, and gas on Irish territory is set to appear before the Dail early next month.

The Climate Emergency Measures Bill seeks to stop the Government from issuing any new licenses for the exploration and extraction of fossil fuels.

The bill was introduced by People before Profit (PBP) Deputy Brid Smith last November, where it successfully passed the first stage. The second stage debate on the Bill is set to begin in the Dail on 7 February.

Global mean carbon dioxide concentrations have already surpassed 400 parts per million (ppm), a level that last occurred 3 million years ago. The scientific community has stated that CO2 concentrations of 350 ppm is the highest that can safely be permitted.

Brid Smith said: “We hope to get the bill passed and ban further exploration and extraction for fossil fuels in the country. But more than that we hope that by introducing the concept of a Climate Emergency we will have started a real campaign to take serious action on climate.”

“[The bill] is just the first step in the kind of mitigation actions we need and we will follow this measure with campaigns around real support for public transport, renewable and community lead projects which would dramatically reduce Ireland’s emissions,” she added.

France passed a law which will permanently ban the exploration and extraction of fossil fuels nationwide by 2040 Photo: French Government

PBP have planned several meetings over the coming months to bring together campaigners and experts to discuss actions they are taking on the issue around climate change.

Next Tuesday, author of Oil, Gas and the Irish State, Amanda Slevin, is set to give a talk regarding climate change at the Wynn’s Hotel in Dublin.

If the Bill passes, Ireland will become only the third country in the world to implement a ban on the exploration of fossil fuels, after France and Costa Rica.

Last December, France passed a law which will permanently ban the exploration and extraction of fossil fuels nationwide by 2040.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this week, French President Emmanuel Macron also pledged to shut all of his country’s coal-fired power plants by 2021.

In 2014, Costa Rica extended a moratorium on all petroleum exploration and extraction until at least 2021.

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