Hogan’s decision to axe Sustainable Development Council strange and mistaken

Environmental Pillar criticises the abolition of Comhar, the National Sustianable Development Council.  The Environmental Pillar of Social Partnership has expressed disappointment and concern at yesterday’s decision by the minister for the Environment Phil Hogan to abolish Comhar (the National Sustainable Development Council). Commenting on behalf of the Environmental Pillar, Pat Finnegan of Grian, a member of Comhar council […]

Speech to the Aarhus Convention Meeting of the Parties Wed 29th June 2011

Text of speech by Michael Ewing, Coordinator of the Environmental Pillar Thank you chair The European ECO Forum would like to begin by thanking the Chair of the Task Force on Public Participation for his comprehensive and thoughtful report, and the members of the Task Force for their hard work to date in what is […]

Environmental Pillar criticises Jim Higgins MEP’s support for overfishing

Dublin – 9th May 2011. The Environmental Pillar of social partnership has criticised Fine Gael MEP Jim Higgins’ support for increasing fishing industry subsidies. Higgins is supporting European People’s Party members in calling for the Commission to double the financial assistance paid towards fuel costs for the fishing industry, because of rising oil prices.  But […]

Ireland’s Environmental Pillar says forests must remain in public hands

Dublin – 21st April 2011. The Environmental Pillar of social partnership has called on Fine Gael and Labour to restate their commitment to the continued public ownership of Coillte. This follows Minister Brendan Howlin’s indications that he would not delay in moving on the sale of state assets identified in the McCarthy Report published yesterday. […]

Environmental groups call for retention of AEOS scheme

The Environmental Pillar, an umbrella organisation that represents the Irish environment, has claimed that cancelling the AEOS scheme would be short-sighted. The group has called on the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney TD, to open the AEOS scheme for 2011. “The AEOS scheme provides superb value for money to the taxpayer, even in straitened times,” […]

Taoiseach urged to reform Seanad by nominating environmentalists

The Environmental Pillar, an umbrella organisation that represents the Irish environment, called on the Taoiseach today to “begin a radical reform of the Seanad” by including leading environmental scientists and representatives in his list of Seanad nominees. “The scientific evidence shows that environmental degradation is occurring now, and that it is a growing threat to […]

Environmental Pillar asks incoming government to to set Ireland on the road to sustainable future

The Environmental Pillar, which is made up of 27 national environmental groups, has asked the incoming government to ensure that it protects the fundamental needs of our society and economy by protecting and enhancing the natural environment.  In a detailed submission to the Fine Gael and Labour Parties, the Environmental Pillar outlined what is needed […]

Ireland to be fined €26 million and daily fines of €33,000

The Environmental Pillar calls on the Government: to take seriously its role as protector of the natural resources that are fundamental to all life, including human; to fully implement the Water Framework Directive, the Habitats Directive, the Birds Directive, and the EIA Directive; and in so doing to avoid the Irish taxpayer having to face […]

Sustainable Ireland – Sustainable Europe

Presentation by Michael Ewing, at the NESC Seminar  “Ireland’s Experience & Challenges in the European Union”, 26th January, 2011 Presentation on Sustainable Ireland and Europe

Corrib Gas Pipeline Decision ‘legally flawed’

An Bord Pleanála’s decision to approve planning permission for the final section of the Corrib gas pipeline in north Mayo has been condemned as ‘legally flawed by the Environmental Pillar of Social Partnership. It demands that this development, along with all developments, must be completed in accordance with the law. “This decision is legally flawed […]

Environmental Pillar welcomes the Climate Change Response Bill

Dublin – 16th December, 2010. The Environment Pillar of Social Partnership today welcomed the publication of the Climate Change Response Bill. However, it said the Bill’s ambition to transition Ireland to a smart low-carbon, high-value, high-employment economy needs to be sharpened, with a stronger stimulus created from more ambitious emission reduction targets. Pat Finnegan, Co-ordinator […]

Environmental Pillar nominates Siobhán Egan to European Economic and Social Committee

The Environmental Pillar of Social Partnership has elected Siobhán Egan from BirdWatch Ireland to be its representative on the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). She was elected by the 27 member organisations that constitute the Pillar, and will now be the only environmental sector representative out of the total of 9 Irish representatives. The […]

Environmental groups demand public inquiry into banks

The Environmental Pillar of social partnership has welcomed the Government’s statement indicating its willingness to establish a public inquiry into the circumstances that led to the banking crisis. “In the light of the huge damage done by the behaviour of the banking sector to the environmental, social and economic health of this country the government […]

Environmental groups demand public inquiry into banks

The Environmental Pillar of social partnership has welcomed the Government’s statement indicating its willingness to establish a public inquiry into the circumstances that led to the banking crisis. “In the light of the huge damage done by the behaviour of the banking sector to the environmental, social and economic health of this country the government […]

Carbon Tax will lead to improvements in quality of life

The Environmental Pillar of social partnership has welcomed the introduction of a carbon tax in the budget. In its pre-budget submission it had called for a shift from taxes on income to “progressive and just” taxes on consumption of natural resources. The provision for the fuel poor and vulnerable was also welcomed. Its position is […]

Budget must not jeopardize the environment

Social Partners, the Environmental Pillar, say that the hard economic decisions to be taken in the December budget must only be taken when they have been placed in their environmental context. In its pre-budget submission to the Minister of Finance it has offered solutions which allow the government to act sensibly in the context of […]

Agenda 21 must form the core of programme for government say Irish environment groups

Coherent implementation of Agenda 21 must form the core of the new programme for government in order to provide the radical change needed to ensure a sustainable future for Irish society Irish environment groups warned in Dublin today. Agenda 21 is a UN supported roadmap to sustainability. The Environmental Pillar, the representative body for twenty eight of […]

Environmental representatives wanted. Deadline Extended!

The following SPC Schemes are now closed to expressions of interest for nomination,  however if you are interested in being part of a local environmental network please contact Michael Ewing michael@environmentalpillar.ie Expressions of interest are still welcome for  the following SPCs Waterford County and Waterford City   Local Environmental Reps Visit this group Invitation for […]

Land Value Tax would be "fair and dependable"

Ireland is faced with reacting to a rapidly collapsing world economy whilst at the same time addressing a looming energy crisis that will dwarf the current economic crisis in both consequences and complexity, it was claimed yesterday.  In a meeting with the Commission on Taxation representatives from the Environmental Pillar argued for the introduction of […]

Environmentalists tell Government 'there's no going back to business as usual'

New Social Partner launched at Government Buildings [imagebrowser id=2]At the official launch of the new Environmental Pillar of Social Partnership at Government buildings today environmental representatives called on the government not to lose sight of the the ecological crisis underlying the country’s current economic difficulties. Speaking after a photocall with Taoiseach Brian Cowen and Minister […]

Environmental groups invited to enter Social Partnership

Realising that the crises facing this country go even deeper than the very serious financial problems, the Government has invited a fifth group to participate in the Social Partnership negotiations for the first time. This “fifth pillar” of social partnership includes twenty-eight environmental groups working to create a sustainable society. Karin Dubsky of Coastwatch points […]