Environmental Pillar Letter to PEFC International Calling for the Suspension of Draft PEFC Irish National Forest Standard Public consultation on behalf of PEFC Social and Environmental Stakeholder Group
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To the Directors of PEFC International. I am writing to you on behalf of the Environmental Pillar, an organisation that works to represent the views of 32 of Ireland’s leading environmental NGOs. We work to promote environmental sustainability and the protection of our natural environment. We are the largest NGO stakeholder in the PEFC process, […]

Ireland’s Draft Forest Strategy (2022 – 2030)
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This is a submission on behalf of the Environmental Pillar in response to the public consultation on Ireland’s Forest Strategy (2022 – 2030) and the associated implementation plans, and the Strategic Environmental Assessment and Appropriate Assessment obligations pertaining. Click here to read the full Environmental Pillar submission on Irelands Draft Forest Strategy (2022 – 2030). […]

Ireland’s Fourth National Biodiversity Action Plan 2023-2027
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Submission on behalf of the Environmental Pillar on Ireland’s Fourth National Biodiversity Action Plan. In May 2019, Dáil Eireann declared a climate and biodiversity emergency making Ireland only the second country to do so. Despite this and a multitude of government commitments, targets and timelines we continue to see the health of the environment deteriorate […]

Environmental Pillar submission to the consultation on Ireland’s Climate Action Plan 2023
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The Environmental Pillar’s submission covers the following areas:

The Framework
Avoid impacting biodiversity
Carbon Pricing and Cross-Cutting Issues
Agriculture, Land Use and Forestry
Waste and the Circular Economy

UN FAO report on Irish agriculture a travesty, misrepresents reality and ignores NGO warnings

IMMEDIATE RELEASE A UN case study portraying Ireland as leading in the transformation to sustainable  agriculture is deeply misleading and puts forward an image of the industry that is not supported by scientific evidence, The Environmental Pillar has warned. Ireland’s leading coalition of environmental groups is alarmed by the case study’s publication and have stressed […]

Dark day for Irish biodiversity as Dail passes destructive Heritage Bill

Immediate Release The passage of the destructive Heritage Bill through the Dail marks a dark day for Irish biodiversity, Ireland’s leading environmental coalition has said. The Government’s Bill was voted through yesterday evening with the support of Fianna Fail despite widespread opposition from all other parties, environmentalists, conservation groups and farmers working together with biodiversity. […]

Brexit: NGO coalition calls on Barnier to stress need for cross-border environmental solution

Immediate Release n environmental coalition has called on Michel Barnier to stress the need for a solution to the border issue that maintains full alignment of environmental rules on the island of Ireland post-Brexit. The EU’s top Brexit negotiator will be in Ireland next week to give a keynote address at the fourth plenary meeting of […]

Nature Scorecard shines light on Ireland's failure to protect its natural heritage and internationally important habitats and species  

Immediate Release The Irish state is failing in its duty to fully implement European Directives vital to protect numerous threatened species and habitats on our island. This is the finding of a new report published today by leading environmental NGOs, BirdLife Europe, WWF, European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and Friends of the Earth Europe. [1] The […]

Press Conference on State's failure to consult Irish people on UK nuclear expansion

Concerns about the UK’s nuclear expansion program and Ireland’s failures to consult with the Irish public were raised today by TDs and Senators from across the political spectrum, together with environmental NGOs, academics and the agricultural sector. The broad grouping came together for a briefing at Buswell’s Hotel at 11AM this morning organised by the Environmental […]

New forestry figures point to urgent need for root and branch reform of failing State policy

Immediate Release Ireland’s latest forestry figures are a clear sign of the urgent need for a root and branch reform of failing forestry policy, warns a coalition of environmental groups. According to the Environmental Pillar – a coalition of 30 national environmental organisations -the Forest Statistics Ireland 2017 report gives false reassurances that Ireland’s afforestation […]

PRESS RELEASE: Strict enforcement on hedgerow cutting and upland burning vital to avoid environmental devastation

Immediate Release Strict enforcement on hedgerow cutting and upland burning during the prohibited season is vital to avoid the level of devastation witnessed last year, a coalition of environmental groups has warned. Once the remaining snow left from the Beast from the East along our country verges and on the uplands melts, it is crucial […]

Environmental groups welcome long overdue public consultation on proposed UK Nuclear Power Plant

Immediate Release The launch of a public consultation on the UK’s planned Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, less than 250km from Rosslare, is welcome but long overdue, leading environmental groups said today. An Taisce, Friends of the Irish Environment, and the Environmental Pillar said that it is vital that the Irish people now raise […]

Environmental groups welcome Fine Gael Senator's support for plastic bottle deposit return scheme

Ireland’s leading environmental coalition welcomes support from Fine Gael Senator Catherine Noone for a deposit and return system on plastic bottles, and calls on her party’s leaders to follow suit. The Environmental Pillar – a coalition of 28 national environmental organisations – is pleased to see the Senator’s support of this progressive policy which she […]

Ireland faces mega fines as Commission takes the State to court over poor environmental record

Immediate Release Large fines loom for the Government as the European Commission brings the Irish State back to court over its decade-long failure to carry out an environmental impact assessment for Ireland’s largest wind farm. The Environmental Pillar – a coalition of 28 national environmental organisations – welcomed the Commission’s decision which highlights the catastrophic failure […]

Waste Reduction Bill badly needed to tackle our escalating plastic problem, Committee hears

The Government must support the straightforward and progressive policies in the Green Party’s Waste Reduction Bill to tackle our escalating plastic problem, the Oireachtas Environment Committee heard today. Speaking before the Committee this afternoon, Mindy O’Brien, the Coordinator of VOICE – a leading environmental charity focused on tackling plastic pollution – told the Committee that […]

We must follow UK's lead in tackling plastic pollution, say leading environmentalists

 Immediate Release The State must step up its game to tackle plastic pollution in the wake of the UK’s pledge to eliminate plastic waste by 2042, Ireland’s leading environmental coalition has said. Measures in the UK’s new 25 Year Environment Plan launched by UK Prime Minister Theresa May this morning include extending the UK’s plastic […]

State must stop incentivising farmers to engage in environmentally-damaging forestry

The State must stop incentivising farmers to engage in environmentally-damaging commercial timber schemes and shift support toward more sustainable native tree cover initiatives, Ireland’s leading environmental coalition has said. The comments from the Environmental Pillar – a coalition of 26 national environmental organisations –  follows the recent launch of the Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA) Five […]

EPA report highlights Government total failure to tackle air pollution problems

The EPA’s damning indictment of our transport system’s contribution to poor air quality in Ireland underlies the urgent need to move away from polluting diesel and petrol vehicles. The environmental watchdog’s report on air quality in Ireland released today singles out traffic as a key pressure on air quality in our largest cities. [1] The […]

Budget 2018 falls embarrassingly short of tackling Air Pollution and Climate Change

The Environmental Pillar has expressed extreme disappointment at the exclusion of any measures to equalise the cost of diesel and petrol in Ireland in Budget 2018. We expected to at least see some moves toward disincentivising diesel use, given the growing body of evidence on the damaging impact of its use on our climate and health. Diesel fuel exhaust […]

BUDGET 2018: Greens back call to equalize cost of diesel

Immediate Release Ireland’s leading environmental coalition welcomes the Green Party’s support of its proposal to equalise the cost of diesel and petrol in Budget 2018. Launching its alternative budget this morning, the Greens also outlined their support for the Environmental Pillar’s proposal for the inclusion of an aggregates levy. [1][2] The Pillar – a coalition of 26 […]

PRESS RELEASE: 200,000 European Citizens sign landmark petition calling on the EU to protect soil

Immediate Release The Irish branch of the European-wide People4Soil campaign has smashed its national quota for an official EU petition calling on the European Commission to protect soils across Europe. Soil is a vibrant living substance which is vital for life on Earth, with each and every one of us depending on the four or five […]

PRESS RELEASE: Native Woodlands the solution to farm water pollution, says environmental coalition

Immediate Release The use of existing forestry grants to allow farmers to plant native woodlands along rivers and streams would dramatically reduce farm water pollution, Ireland’s leading environment coalition has said. The Environmental Pillar – a coalition of 26 national environmental organisations – wants to see excess funds from under-spent non-native forestry funding diverted to […]

PRESS RELEASE: Pillar comment on State of the European Union address

Sustainable development and environmental protection must be put at the heart and centre of the Future of Europe, says Ireland’s leading environmental coalition. Following today’s State of the European Union speech by European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker on his vision for the Future of Europe, the Environmental Pillar has called for a more democratic, […]

PRESS RELEASE: Happy Pear Twins fly the Foodie Flag for People4Soil Campaign

Immediate Release With just four weeks left to reach Ireland’s target, The Happy Pear twins are calling on all food lovers to add their signature to the People4Soil petition to save our soil. Ireland needs 8,250 signatures before 12 September 2017 to pass the European Citizen’s Initiative petition which is pushing for the European Commission […]