Budget 2015 Response: Site Value Tax

The Environmental Pillar welcomes moves by the government to address the problem of developers hoarding zoned and serviced land and calls for the introduction of a site value tax. Minister for Finance Michael Noonan today stated that a public consultation will be launched on the issues of developers allowing sites to lay derelict as they […]

Budget 2015 response: Blue Economy

The Environmental Pillar cautiously welcomes the marine measures in the budget but warns that the increase in the blue economy must not come at the cost of small fishermen and the environment. The proposed Marine Tax review is an opportunity to focus tax support on smaller specialist fishing vessels that can fish sustainably and provide […]

Budget 2015 response: Tax measures to support Agriculture

The Environmental Pillar welcomes a number of tax measures that will benefit farmers and farming communities but warns that increases in productivity must not come at the cost of Ireland’s biodiversity. Minister for Finance Michael Noonan highlighted the importance of land availability for young farmers wishing to expand in the industry and will provide Irish […]

Conserving Ireland’s natural habitats and biodiversity can help in the fight against climate change

At the National Ploughing Championships 2014, the Environmental Pillar launched a report into how Ireland’s biodiversity can help in the fight against climate change. The report entitled ‘Ireland’s Biodiversity: Our natural ally in the fight against climate change’ outlines how protecting natural habitats is an important and cost effective option for government to store carbon and […]

Europe US trade deal could open the door to fracking in Ireland
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The Environmental Pillar is concerned that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) currently being negotiated could force Ireland to permit fracking against the will of the Irish people. The trade deal, as currently envisaged, would allow for companies banned from fracking in Ireland to take legal action against the country under an onerous new […]

Departments of Transport and Agriculture need to face up to climate change and play their part in cutting Ireland's emissions.

The Environmental Pillar are calling on Ministers Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney to stop burying their heads in the sand over Ireland’s climate change commitments.  While the government has cut emissions in some areas the EPA figures released today show that the Agriculture and Transport sectors alone have set Ireland on course to miss our […]

As Ireland goes to the polls, the European Commission has withdrawn two key pieces of environmental policy – they must be replaced

For immediate release The European Commission’s withdrawal of two crucial pieces of environmental policy at the moment that citizens across Europe are voting in the European elections sends a bad signal as to what Europe’s priorities are. The formal withdrawal of the 2003 proposal for a Directive on Access to Justice underlines the urgent need for the Commission […]

Environmental Hustings for the South Constituency

Here are the highlights from the Environmental Hustings for MEP candidates in the South constituency. Three candidates attended the event which was held in the Gresham Metropole Hotel in Cork on Tuesday May 13th. Kieran Hartley of Fianna Fáil, Jan Van de Ven of Direct Democracy Ireland and Donal O’Riordan of Fís Nua were quizzed […]

At last, some justice for the largest animals on earth

The Environmental Pillar welcomes the decision of the United Nation’s International Court of Justice, which has just announced its ruling that: Japan’s whaling is not scientific; and is therefore illegal, and that it must stop immediately. The Environmental Pillar believes that the rights of these complex social mammals need to be further protected by the […]

Environmental Pillar calls on RTE to deal with Science and not Fiction

RTE Primetime Tuesday 18 March 14 March 2014: Following RTE Primetime’s decision to give climate change “sceptics” equal representation on a show discussing climate change, the Environmental Pillar has called on RTE to deal with the reality of the situation. “This is not Public Service broadcasting”, said Michael Ewing, of the Environmental Pillar “Primetime is […]

Irish environmental movement sees red over Constitutional Convention

6 February 2014: The Environmental Pillar is calling on the Constitutional Convention to allow an additional weekend to debate the issues raised by the public.The Constitutional Convention has chosen to ignore the hundreds of written submissions and presentations on the environment. Instead the Constitutional Convention has decided to support reform of the Dáil even though […]

Environmental Pillar calls for a national energy strategy
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29 January 2014: The Environmental Pillar calls on the Government to initiate an inclusive participatory process to develop a comprehensive national strategy on energy. “There is a clear and urgent need for a sense of direction and understanding as to how Ireland will power its communities and enable a successful economy, whilst responding to the […]

Critical changes to Forestry Bill are needed to safeguard our natural assets

Environmental Pillar meets Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine at 2pm today to discuss the Forestry Bill 28 January 2014: The Environmental Pillar says that critical changes must be made to the Forestry Bill 2013 to safeguard our natural environment for the well-being of future generations. Without these changes, we will continue to […]

Environmental Pillar dismayed by Commission’s lack of agreement on climate policy

22 January 2013: The Environmental Pillar expressed its dismay today at the European Commission’s disarray over climate policy.  Spokesperson Michael Ewing commented: “The split in the Barroso Commission on climate policy is worse than ever. Industry and Energy Commissioners, responding to fossil fuel lobbies, are stymieing agreement on Europe’s 2030 targets. The Climate and Environment […]

EU civil society voices opposition to European Commission green light for fracking

20 January 2014: Some 300 civil society groups from across Europe have expressed their concerns over proposals by the European Commission to issue non-binding guidance for the shale gas industry this week. In an open letter addressed to EU institutions, some 300 diverse groups from across Europe criticise the Commission’s proposals to issue non-binding guidance […]

Environmental democracy is still a long way off

 Press release – 8 January 2013 Environmental democracy is still a long way off “The Irish public are unlikely to accept that their rights to access information, to participate in decision-making and of access to justice regarding the environment are being delivered.  However that is what they are being told in the Irish Government’s Implementation […]

Environment lights the way forward on access to information

26 November 2013: The right to information, as enshrined by the Aarhus Convention, is an emerging good news story in what has been a dim situation surrounding freedom of information in Ireland.The Aarhus Convention guarantees your right to easily obtain information on the environment or on human health issues that are affected by the environment. […]

Government should promote renewable energy not more fossil fuel exploration

12 November 2013:  The Environmental Pillar condemns the announcement of a further round of fossil fuel exploration on the very day that the 19th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change opened in Warsaw. Environmental Pillar spokesperson Oisín Coghlan said: “We are very concerned that Minister O’Dowd is acting as […]

Local government reforms won’t deliver on sustainable development unless changes made

7 November 2013:  The Environmental Pillar is warning that proposed local government reforms have excluded sustainable development from their core structures, putting the stability of our economy and communities at risk. Environmental Pillar spokesperson Michael Ewing said: “Let’s not repeat the mistakes of the past. During the Celtic tiger, environmental sustainability was left out of […]

NESC support for greening the economy is welcomed by environmental groups

7 November 2013: The Environmental Pillar, a coalition of 27 national environmental NGOs, welcomes the National Social and Economic Council (NESC) support for the greening of the Irish economy in its Report No.135  Ireland’s Five-Part Crisis, Five Years On: Deepening Reform and Institutional Innovation, published today.Michael Ewing, spokesperson for the Environmental Pillar, said:”Human society emerged […]

Massive increase in emissions from dirty fuels highlights the lack of coordination in Government policies

9 October 2013: The Environmental Pillar reacts with dismay to the news that Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2012 increased by 1% from 2011, as evidenced by today’s report from the EPA. We call on the government to deliver a strong Climate Change Bill with binding targets, and to re-evaluate the sustainability of Food Harvest […]

Spread of ash dieback highlights outdated forest policies

7 October 2013: The Environmental Pillar is extremely alarmed for the future prospects of our native ash trees, now that it has been confirmed that ash dieback has been discovered in a native ash tree in a hedgerow in Leitrim. The site is close to where the disease was first found in a commercial plantation of […]

Vote “No” – reject the abolition of the Seanad, demand reform

29 September 2013: The Environmental Pillar calls for a “No” vote in the Seanad referendum, and demands the reform of the Seanad rather than its abolition. “Abolishing the Seanad leaves us to the mercy of professional politicians and uncontrollable Government majorities. The Government’s promised political reforms are far from clear or assured. We are being […]

Press Release: Reject the Abolition of the Seanad, Demand Reform

The Environmental Pillar calls for a “No” vote in the Seanad referendum, and demands the reform of the Seanad rather than its abolition. “Abolishing the Seanad leaves us to the mercy of professional politicians and uncontrollable Government majorities. The Government’s promised political reforms are far from clear or assured. We are being forced to “buy […]