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€500 million Shannon LNG Project faces High Court

category national | environment | press release author Sunday January 27, 2019 19:50author by foie - Friends of Irish Environment Report this post to the editors

PRESS RELEASE FRIENDS OF THE IRISH ENVIRONMENT Monday 28 January

The €500 million proposal to build a Liquified Natural Gas [LNG] terminal on the Shannon Estuary in County Kerry is in the High Court tomorrow because the Planning Appeals Board ignored Ireland’s legal obligation under the Government’s Climate Change legislation.

PRESS RELEASE FRIENDS OF THE IRISH ENVIRONMENT Monday 28 January

€500 million Shannon LNG Project faces High Court

The €500 million proposal to build a Liquified Natural Gas [LNG] terminal on the Shannon Estuary in County Kerry is in the High Court tomorrow because the Planning Appeals Board ignored Ireland’s legal obligation under the Government’s Climate Change legislation.

The claim comes from Friends of the Irish Environment [FIE] who have brought a Judicial Review of the Planning Appeals Board’s decision to give the developers a further 5 years to build the terminal, originally granted permission in 2008.

According to a FIE spoksperson, ‘Since the 2015 Climate Change Act all public bodies must have regard to the National Mitigation Plan and the National Transition Objectives, the key government policies aimed at transitioning Ireland to a low carbon economy under this legislation.’

‘An Bord Pleanála was made well aware of this by ourselves and many other community groups before it made its decision, yet there is no evidence on their files that they had any regard to these policies.’

‘There is no point bringing in legislation to deal with climate change if projects which will lock Ireland into fossil fuels are approved while ignoring the requirement to consider the climate impact. The proposed terminal will be capable of receiving the largest LNG tankers in operation and is designed to import significant quantities of fossil fuels into the national and European gas grid, locking another generation into fossil fuels.

Fracking
In addition, the LNG terminal is almost certainly going to be used to import fracked gas into Europe. Fracking is one of the most environmental harmful methods of gas extraction and is now banned in Ireland. What is the point of banning fracking in Ireland only to buy it from other countries, rewarding irresponsible Governments? Fracking is environmentally damaging and releases significant amounts of methane into the atmosphere – amounts that recent research suggest make it one of the dirtiest of fossil fuels.

Nature Conservation
According to FIE, the decision to extend the permission it didn’t take account of changes in the environment and the latest scientific evidence. The Shannon estuary hosts the largest community for bottlenose dolphins in Ireland, the otter, and 20,000 wintering birds.

Invalid planning permission
The Board did not even seem to be aware that the original planning permission had expired when they decided to extend it. ‘Even your local developer knows that you can’t extend a planning application after it has expired’, the group pointed out.

Climate Change
FIE last week spend four days in the High Court challenging Irelands National Mitigation Plan, required under the Climate Act 2015 to detail how Ireland will meet its greenhouse gas reductions targets under international agreements and human rights conventions. FIE claims that the NMP does not include any or sufficient measures which will meet Ireland’s legal obligations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which are in fact continuing to rise rather than fall.

‘Climate change is the defining issue of our generation and this permission, instead of combating climate change, will increase it’, the FIE statement concluded. Opponents of the terminal are planning to gather outside the High Court on Tuesday morning at 10 am.

FIE is represented by Fred Logue, Solicitor, John Kenny BL and James Devlin, SC

Contacts
Tony Lowes 353 (0)27 74771 / 353 (0)87 2176316
Daithí Ó hÉalaithe (Irish language) +353 (0)87 6178852

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