"As a network we are delighted that the Committee's report can now be added to the mounting global and national peer-reviewed evidence detailing the significant risks and negative impacts associated with unconventional fossil fuel extraction.
"A review of the significant evidence from around the world on the risks and dangers of fracking clearly shows that a simple and immediate ban should be introduced in Ireland."
Ahead of the publication of the report, Friends of the Earth Ireland director Oisin Coghlan said:
"I understand the report reflects the overwhelming evidence that the committee received that the risks from fracking outweigh any possible advantages.
"We have now established all-party political support. There’s obvious public support for a ban and now the committee’s analysis of the evidence is also clear, but we don’t think the parliamentary process reflects the urgency of the issue, I worry the Government is trying to delay it. It’s a simple bill. It’s time to get on and pass it."
The EPA has warned that current and planned policies and measures are not sufficient to meet the 2020 targets, with emissions projected to continue to increase out to 2030 and beyond.
Cited by the Irish Independent, EPA director general Laura Burke said:
"The EPA’s latest greenhouse gas projections are a disappointing indicator that the current range of policy measures to reduce emissions and to meet compliance obligations are failing in an improving economy."
While the EPA projections concern the sectors outside of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), recent figures show that the greenhouse gas emissions from Irish companies participating in the ETS increased by 5.4% in 2016, in contrast with a decline across Europe of 2.7%.
Emissions from the aviation sector increased by 23%. As the Irish Examiner explained, this increase was due to increased traffic and to the attribution of Norwegian Air to the Irish list. Of the roughly 100 heavy energy users from Ireland that are registered to the ETS, mainly power plants, large industrial facilities and airlines, Ryanair topped the list for greenhouse gas emissions.
EPA Programme Manager Dr. Tom Ryan said:
"The increase in emissions is a disappointing indicator that the price of carbon remains too low for the trading system to have the desired impact on emissions in Ireland...Ireland has a national policy position that commits us to reducing our carbon emissions by at least 80 per cent compared to 1990 levels by 2050 across the electricity generation, built environment and transport sectors while achieving carbon neutrality in the agriculture and land use sectors.
“In order to deliver on our national policy position we must break our dependence on fossil energy infrastructures. This will take planning, investment and time but can be achieved in the overall framework of national, EU and global commitments."
According to latest figures, Ireland’s current emissions are 6.6% above 1990 levels, and emissions increased by 3.7% in 2015. Ireland, with the 8th highest emissions per person in the OECD, is one of only two countries in the EU which will overshoot its 2020 targets for emissions reductions.
According to lead scientist Andrew Ciavarella, who explains the findings in the video above,"Our study has shown that efforts to reduce global temperature rise in the long term – through aggressive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions – can halve the risk of heat extremes within two decades."
Another author on the paper, Prof. Peter Stott, commented: "It is necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions rapidly to help avoid the most dangerous impacts of climate change, but it had been thought that most of the benefits of this early mitigation would be felt only much later in the century. This new research shows that many people alive today could see substantial benefits of efforts to reduce emissions thanks to a greatly reduced risk of heat waves in as little as two decades."
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