Criticism of Limerick council support for LNG terminal

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Limerick Green Party Councillor Seán Hartigan

GREEN Party councillor Seán Hartigan described it as “horrifying” to see a recommendation before Limerick City and County Council last week, calling for a change in government policy to permit the development of a LNG terminal at Ballylongford.

Speaking in County Hall last Monday, the City East representative highlighted the need to utilise “our vast renewable energy resources and not use this crisis to fast-track policy that got the world into this mess in the first place”.

“The Programme for Government states that, as Ireland moves towards carbon neutrality, it does not make sense to develop LNG projects importing fracked gas. This was agreed by all government parties, writing to the minister to ask for this to be changed will brand us as climate change deniers,” Cllr Hartigan told council members.

“The government’s policy statement on LNG has stated that pending the outcome of a review of the security of energy supply of Ireland’s electricity and natural gas systems being carried out by the department of environment, climate and communications, it would not be appropriate for the development of any LNG terminals in Ireland to be permitted or proceeded with.

“This review will consider how the Government’s increased ambition in renewable energy and the development of new indigenous clean energy sources, such as hydrogen and biomethane, will reduce fossil energy use and how this can reduce risk associated with security of supply. It will also focus on ensuring we avoid the substantial risk of stranded assets, in particular fossil fuel infrastructure, in the context of the Government commitment to net zero emissions by 2050.”

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Cllr Hartigan took the view that the rush to use fossil fuels because of the war in Ukraine is madness and threatens global climate targets.

“We must accelerate the phase-out of all fossil fuels, and implement a rapid and sustainable energy transition.”

He called on the motion to be removed from the agenda. The recommendation was passed with only himself, Saša Novak (GP), Conor Sheehan (Lab), Sharon Benson (SF), PJ Carey (SF), Joe Leddin (Lab) and Elisa O’ Donovan (SD), opposing it.