Press Release: Environmental Pillar calls for savings from Smoky coal ban to be re-invested in home insulation

For immediate release 
The Environmental Pillar welcomes Minister Alan Kelly’s announcement that the ban on smoky coal is to be extended nationwide.
The Environmental Pillar has long campaigned for the nationwide implementation of this ban.
Charles Stanley Smith, speaking for The Environmental Pillar said: “So far approximately 8,000 lives have been saved in Dublin since the introduction of the smoky coal ban in 1990 as well as countless people being saved from respiratory problems due to the burning of low quality coal.”
He went on to call on the Minister to invest the savings that the Minister estimates will be delivered from the ban into extending the SEAI home insulation scheme. “Using the savings from the coal ban to insulate homes will generate even more savings to the exchequer and the environment and people’s health.” The Minister estimated the savings to be €53 million per year, which would enable grants to be given to another 13,250 homes a year.
EPA Director General Laura Burke said at the launch of it’s Air Quality Report 2014 ,”Environmental protection and health protection are inextricably linked. We all expect that the air we breathe is clean but we cannot take this for granted” The EPA said today that burning of solid fuel and emissions from vehicle exhausts remain the main threats to air quality in Ireland.
Mr Stanley Smith said that “Now that smoky coal is to be banned, our focus needs to switch to reducing emissions from other inefficient solid fuels, and transport emissions.”
Media Contact
Charles Stanley Smith
Environmental Pillar Spokesperson
087 241 1995
Donna Mullen
Environmental Pillar Spokesperson
087 745 4233
Michael Ewing
Environmental Pillar Coordinator
086 867 2153
Notes for Editor:

About the Environmental Pillar
The Environmental Pillar is a national social partner, comprising 28 national environmental organisations.  It works to promote the protection and enhancement of the environment, together with the creation of a viable economy and a just society, without compromising the viability of the planet on which we live for current and future generations of all species and ecosystems. For more information, please see our website, Facebook or Twitter.

Member Organisations of the Environmental Pillar:
An Taisce, Bat Conservation Ireland, BirdWatch Ireland, Centre for Environmental Living and Training, CoastWatch, Coomhola Salmon Trust, Crann, ECO-UNESCO, FEASTA, Forest Friends, Friends of the Earth, Global Action Plan, Gluaiseacht, Good Energies Alliance, Irish Doctors’ Environmental Association, Irish Wildlife Trust, Hedge Laying Association of Ireland, Irish Natural Forestry Foundation, Irish Peatland Conservation Council, Irish Seal Sanctuary, Irish Seed Savers Association, Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, Native Woodland Trust, Sonairte, Sustainable Ireland Cooperative (Cultivate), The Organic Centre, VOICE, Zero Waste Alliance.