Ireland blocks bid to halt offshore work

The Irish government has stymied legislation calling for a halt to offshore oil and gas exploration and a limit to production licensing.

Jul 8th, 2019

The Irish government has stymied legislation calling for a halt to offshore oil and gas exploration and a limit to production licensing.

Energy Minister Richard Bruton said the Climate Emergency Bill required a “money message,” a step that halts progress of a bill determined to have cost ramifications for the government.

Brid Smith, a member of the lower house of the Irish Parliament who proposed the bill, said, “If we can’t stop new exploration for fossil fuels while knowing that 80% of existing reserves need to stay in the ground then we will never limit climate change to 1.5°[C.],” according to the Irish Examiner.

She referred to the limit to Industrial Age planetary warming sought by the 2015 Paris Climate Accord.

Mandy Johnston, chief executive officer of the Irish Offshore Operators’ Association, welcomed the decision as “not only good for energy security but also good for the environment and jobs.”

Noting that gas from Kinsale and Corrib fields offshore Ireland supplies 60% of Irish business and residential gas needs, Johnston said, “Russian gas imported to Ireland creates 34-38% more greenhouse gas emissions than using Irish gas, while liquefied natural gas imported from Qatar creates 22-30% more.”

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