Credit: Kwon Junho / Unsplash

Ireland joins international Alliance to ‘irrevocably’ ban all fossil fuel exploration

The Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan has confirmed that Ireland has joined other governments ‘in a landmark announcement’ at COP26 today to launch the Beyond Oil & Gas Alliance (BOGA). 

In a statement issued by Minister Ryan’s Department, BOGA is described as first-of-its-kind alliance of governments that are determined to set an end date for oil and gas exploration and extraction.

The alliance mean that Ireland will now actively seek to curtail new licensing for exploration and undertake other measures to phase out oil and gas production.

In details provided by the Department of Environment, Ireland joined Costa Rica (co-chair); Denmark (co-chair); France; Greenland; Quebec; Sweden; Wales; California; and New Zealand – in making today’s milestone announcement.

Speaking at the launch of the International Alliance, Eamon Ryan claimed that “Ireland is leading the way in incentivising the transition to renewable energy and putting ourselves on a pathway to net zero, by legislating to keep fossil fuels in the ground” and that the decision made today “sends a powerful message that we are moving irrevocably away from fossil fuels towards a renewable future.”

Minister Ryan further noted that as a core member of BOGA, “Ireland will lead by example and share our experience of legislation so that we can all move towards a fossil free future.”

The Department of the Environment statement went on to state that Ireland as a founding member of the BOGA Declaration, will pledge to end new concessions, licensing or leasing rounds for fossil fuels and will instead promote “dialogue on the need for a managed and just phase-out.”

The Beyond Oil & Gas Alliance says that it recognises that members may be locked into granting certain permissions, due to existing contractual/legal commitments but it will seeks to set “a clear direction of travel, taking an ambitious ‘glide path’ approach to phasing out production, rather than an impossible ‘nose-dive’.

The statement issued today concludes with Minister Ryan remarking: “By prohibiting offshore oil and gas exploration, not only are we doing what we need to do to address climate change, we are also protecting our biodiversity which is intrinsically linked to climate change. I look forward to using the platform that BOGA will provide to raise the profile of international dialogues on oil and gas phase-out.”

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