Budget 2015 Response: Site Value Tax

The Environmental Pillar welcomes moves by the government to address the problem of developers hoarding zoned and serviced land and calls for the introduction of a site value tax. Minister for Finance Michael Noonan today stated that a public consultation will be launched on the issues of developers allowing sites to lay derelict as they […]

Budget 2015 response: Blue Economy

The Environmental Pillar cautiously welcomes the marine measures in the budget but warns that the increase in the blue economy must not come at the cost of small fishermen and the environment. The proposed Marine Tax review is an opportunity to focus tax support on smaller specialist fishing vessels that can fish sustainably and provide […]

Budget 2015 response: Tax measures to support Agriculture

The Environmental Pillar welcomes a number of tax measures that will benefit farmers and farming communities but warns that increases in productivity must not come at the cost of Ireland’s biodiversity. Minister for Finance Michael Noonan highlighted the importance of land availability for young farmers wishing to expand in the industry and will provide Irish […]

Conserving Ireland’s natural habitats and biodiversity can help in the fight against climate change

At the National Ploughing Championships 2014, the Environmental Pillar launched a report into how Ireland’s biodiversity can help in the fight against climate change. The report entitled ‘Ireland’s Biodiversity: Our natural ally in the fight against climate change’ outlines how protecting natural habitats is an important and cost effective option for government to store carbon and […]

Submission on the implementation of the Aarhus Convention and access to justice

Ireland’s current legislative framework falls short of what is required under article 9(1) of the Aarhus Convention. The convention is an international agreement which guarantees access to information, public participation and justice in relation to environmental matters. The Environmental Pillar made a submission to the public consultation on Access to Justice and Implementation of Article 9 […]

Proposed plan for septic tank inspections needs more detail and transparency

The Environmental Pillar, a coalition of 26 national environmental groups, has expressed its disappointment that the Government’s proposed National Inspection Plan for Domestic Waste Water Treatment Systems does not contain enough detail to allow a meaningful public discussion. Charles Stanley-Smith, spokesperson for the Environmental Pillar, said: ‘When you think about the potential risks to our […]

Budget Submission 2015

This submission recommends ways of broadening the tax base and using the limited financial resources in a way that focuses on long term sustainability, whilst creating employment and stimulating the economy in the short term. In making this submission to the Government it recognises that the public are still reeling from the shock of the economic […]

NAMA Workshop

Smart Taxes (www.smarttaxes.org) recently organised a workshop on NAMA designed specifically for members of the Environmental Pillar. The workshop consisted of a morning session devoted to NAMA and comprised a number of leading economists presenting their views on NAMA, with a question and answer session following each presentation. Video footage of the event is available, […]

Letter to TDs on the definition of ‘public authorities’ in the Freedom of Information Bill

The Environmental Pillar sent this letter to all TDs on 5 November 2013, asking them to support the inclusion of this definition of ‘public authorities’ in the Freedom of Information Bill   Dear Deputy, The new Freedom of Information Bill is a step forward in many ways, but at present it is missing one opportunity. […]

Submission to DCENR on the Green Paper on Energy Policy

The Environmental Pillar say in its submission that the eventual White Paper should define a vision for Ireland’s future energy system which provides an overarching framework within which decisions on energy policy are made. The key messages from the submission are: EU targets for renewable energy in all sectors including transport and reducing energy demand […]

Policy on the TTIP, CETA and TISA

 The Environmental Pillar Policy on the TTIP CETA and TISA June 2014 The Environmental Pillardenounces the lack of transparency of the negotiations, the lack of democratic participation in the development of the negotiation mandate and the lack of democratic control over the negotiations regarding the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) […]

Europe US trade deal could open the door to fracking in Ireland
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The Environmental Pillar is concerned that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) currently being negotiated could force Ireland to permit fracking against the will of the Irish people. The trade deal, as currently envisaged, would allow for companies banned from fracking in Ireland to take legal action against the country under an onerous new […]

Policy Regarding the Setting up of a Coherent Network of Marine Protected Areas

The Environment Pillar is calling for urgent action to protect and restore marine habitats and biota including fish stocks around Ireland.  The Environmental Pillar welcomes the Marine Strategy Framework Directive as one of the key means to achieve this and urges that full timely implementation is now prioritised by government and stakeholders. The Directive provides […]

Departments of Transport and Agriculture need to face up to climate change and play their part in cutting Ireland's emissions.

The Environmental Pillar are calling on Ministers Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney to stop burying their heads in the sand over Ireland’s climate change commitments.  While the government has cut emissions in some areas the EPA figures released today show that the Agriculture and Transport sectors alone have set Ireland on course to miss our […]

As Ireland goes to the polls, the European Commission has withdrawn two key pieces of environmental policy – they must be replaced

For immediate release The European Commission’s withdrawal of two crucial pieces of environmental policy at the moment that citizens across Europe are voting in the European elections sends a bad signal as to what Europe’s priorities are. The formal withdrawal of the 2003 proposal for a Directive on Access to Justice underlines the urgent need for the Commission […]

Environmental Hustings for the Dublin Constituency

Here are the highlights from the Environmental Hustings for MEP candidates in the Dublin constituency. Six candidates attended the event which was held in Wynns Hotel in Dublin on Friday May 16th. Emer Costello of Labour, Mary Fitzpatrick of Fianna Fáil, Paul Murphy of the Socialist Party, Eamon Ryan of the Green Party, Nessa Childers Independent and […]

So where do they stand on the issues? Highlights from the Environmental hustings for MEP candidates in the Midlands North West

Four European candidates attended the Environmental Hustings in Carrick-on-Shannon last week. Here we bring you the highlights from the event as each candidate grappled with questions set by the Environmental Pillar and ones from the floor. Each of the candidates responses have been grouped together so you can see where they stand on the issues. […]

At last, some justice for the largest animals on earth

The Environmental Pillar welcomes the decision of the United Nation’s International Court of Justice, which has just announced its ruling that: Japan’s whaling is not scientific; and is therefore illegal, and that it must stop immediately. The Environmental Pillar believes that the rights of these complex social mammals need to be further protected by the […]

Environmental Pillar calls on EU to provide transparency on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

The Environmental Pillar has joined the calls to ask EU Commissioner De Gucht to provide transparency on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Several Civil Society groups, including Friends of the Earth, European Environmental Bureau, Transport and Environment, and Transparency International have written to Commissioner De Gucht calling for transparency on the EU’s negotiations in […]

New local bodies to protect the well-being of local communities for generations to come

The Environmental Pillar welcomes the establishment of new Public Participation Networks (PPNs) The PPNs will focus their attention on the well-being of the local communities for this and future generations, and will nominate representatives to a range of County Council committees including the new Local Community Development Committees. They will be made up of representatives […]

Environmental Pillar calls on RTE to deal with Science and not Fiction

RTE Primetime Tuesday 18 March 14 March 2014: Following RTE Primetime’s decision to give climate change “sceptics” equal representation on a show discussing climate change, the Environmental Pillar has called on RTE to deal with the reality of the situation. “This is not Public Service broadcasting”, said Michael Ewing, of the Environmental Pillar “Primetime is […]

Conference on Marine Protected Areas – March 24

The Marine Group of the Environmental Pillar invites you to a Marine Protected Areas Conference on March 24th 2014, 11.30 am – 5.30 pm  Delivering a coherent network of Marine Protected Areas and using them as a tool in ecosystem-based fisheries management kindly hosted by  The EC representation in Ireland, European Union House, 18 Dawson St, Dublin […]

Letter to Minister Quinn: Third Level Campuses as Living Laboratories for the Green Economy and a Sustainable Ireland

Dear Minister Quinn, The members of the Environmental Pillar are asking you to support a proposal under the Action Plan for Jobs 2014 for Third Level Campuses as Living Laboratories for the Green Economy and a Sustainable Ireland, as outlined on pages 73-76 of our Greening-the-Economy-and-Creating-Sustainable-Employment report. The Environmental Pillar is an advocacy coalition of 27 […]

Irish environmental movement sees red over Constitutional Convention

6 February 2014: The Environmental Pillar is calling on the Constitutional Convention to allow an additional weekend to debate the issues raised by the public.The Constitutional Convention has chosen to ignore the hundreds of written submissions and presentations on the environment. Instead the Constitutional Convention has decided to support reform of the Dáil even though […]