Day to Day Diary

This Saturday, 29 March, at 8.30 PM will see buildings and monuments across the globe go dark for one hour as part of ‘Earth Hour.’ Earth Hour is a grassroots campaign that gives people an opportunity to show world leaders that they support positive actions to address global warming.

Individuals, communities, households and businesses are turning off their non–essential lights for one hour as a symbol for their commitment to the planet. Last year more than 7000 cities and towns across 152 countries and territories took part in the campaign that began in Sydney Australia in 2007.

Iconic buildings around the world will go dark include the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building, and the world brightest single location, the Strip in Las Vegas. In Ireland, Leinster House, the Custom House, the Rock of Cashel, Trim Castle, Ross Castle and Ennis Friary will all go dark. 


Friends of the Irish Environment who have supported Earth Hour since its inception, point out that Earth Hour is one way for people to demonstrate that right across the world whatever your culture or your language, we all face the same future. It’s the power of the crowd.

FIE’s Earth Hour page     |      Visit the Earth Hour website for more details


 

 

A United Nations Committee has found there is a ‘profound suspicion of non–compliance’ over the United Kingdom’s failure to undertake trans–boundary consultations for the construction of a new nuclear plant in Somerset, England. The preliminary findings come after FIE lodged a formal complaint to the Committee in March 2013.

The investigation has been undertaken by the Implementation Committee of the United Nations Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context [Espoo].

Their letter to the UK Government cites the Convention’s primary aims as to ‘prevent, reduce, and control significant adverse transboundary impact from proposed activities’. ‘Even a low likelihood of such an impact should trigger the obligation to notify affected parties’, the Committee has told the UK Government.

Read the letter | Read the Press Release


 

As the An Bord Pleanala hearing opens into the plans for the clean up of the old steel plant’s toxic dump on Haulbowline Island in Cork harbour, FIE is calling for the work to be extended to the site of the old steel plant itself.

The current proposal is limited to the 9 hectare waste dump on the island.

Numerous reports show that the contamination on the island includes not just the 9 hectare East Tip which is the subject of the license hearing but the 12 hectare site of the steel plant itself which is being ignored.

While the steel plant building itself has been removed, there was no attempt to clean up the ground, the extensive collapsed drains, or the cellars, which remain congested with toxic flue dust and hazardous waste. In the words of a 2002 Report prepared for the Government by the same consultants who are now project managers, ‘this has created the very real possibility of serious ongoing environmental pollution.’

Read ‘Toxic Island’, FIE’s illustrated 2009 Report which help force the current license application.


 

As the An Bord Pleanala hearing opens into the plans for the clean up of the old steel plant’s toxic dump on Haulbowline Island in Cork harbour, FIE is calling for the work to be extended to the site of the old steel plant itself.

The current proposal is limited to the 9 hectare waste dump on the island.

Numerous reports show that the contamination on the island includes not just the 9 hectare East Tip which is the subject of the license hearing but the 12 hectare site of the steel plant itself which is being ignored.

While the steel plant building itself has been removed, there was no attempt to clean up the ground, the extensive collapsed drains, or the cellars, which remain congested with toxic flue dust and hazardous waste. In the words of a 2002 Report prepared for the Government by the same consultants who are now project managers, ‘this has created the very real possibility of serious ongoing environmental pollution.’

Read ‘Toxic Island’, FIE’s illustrated 2009 Report which help force the current license application.


 

As the Minister signs the contract to undertake a strategic environmental assessment of the departments new forestry programme for the period 2014 – 2020, FIE is calling on the state to recoup the available EU funding.

‘The current forestry programme was set in 1996 and has led to a forestry policy that is based on fast growing poor quality trees destined for short rotation clearfell. These outdated concepts make only token gestures towards bringing back our native broadleaf forestry which could be managed to bring permanent economic, environmental, and social benefits to society.


But the EU will pay only 80% of the establishment costs and loss of income grants are only allowed for 15 years. Ireland insists in paying 100% of the establishment costs and 20 years of generous annual lose of income premiums. These premium payments are far in excess of that could be made by farming animals on the land, reaching over €500 a hectare and the final product is tax free.’

The decision to go it alone in the 2007 – 2015 Rural Development Plan has cost the exchequer €400 million to make up and should not be repeated in the new Plan.


Press Release