17 January 2020
By Mary Bermingham
Hogan’s “LNG win-win” speech is representative of Fine Gael’s ‘greenwashing’, says Green Party’s Lorna Bogue
A speech given by a former Fine Gael Minister for the Environment is ‘representative’ of the incumbent government party’s dedication to tackling the climate crisis, according to Green Party candidate for Cork South Central Lorna Bogue.
While giving a keynote address at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington DC yesterday, former Fine Gael TD and current European Commissioner for Trade Phil Hogan described the increased importation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe as a “great example of a win-win” for both the US & Europe.
Speaking this morning, Green Party Councillor Lorna Bogue said the statement showed how shallow Fine Gael’s commitment to tackling the climate crisis is: “I was shocked, but ultimately not surprised, to hear a Fine Gael politician talk about something like this in this way. It’s well known at this stage what the effects of fossil fuels on the environment are.
“Members of the public have also been very clear that they do not want to import this LNG into Ireland through terminals in Shannon and Cork Harbour,” Councillor Bogue continued. “This shows how out of touch Fine Gael can be on this, and how unprepared they are to make changes to save our planet.”
LNG, or Liquefied Natural Gas, due to be imported into Ireland is primarily gained through a controversial mining technique known as ‘fracking’. Public opposition to an LNG terminal in Shannon reached such a level that international celebrities like actor Mark Ruffalo and singer Cher publicly called on the Irish government to cut ties with the US companies behind these fracking operations.
“It goes further than the concept of our environment,” Cllr. Bogue continued. “There’s an immediate human element to this as well. Fracking of gas primarily takes place within poorer areas and near indigenous communities, and it can cause health issues for people living there right now.
“To call this a win-win just shows how shallow the thinking Fine Gael put into things when public good & the climate crisis come into conflict with profitability & monetary gain.”
A petition launched last year by the group ‘Not Here, Not Anywhere’, calling for the Port of Cork to reject proposals for an LNG terminal in Cork Harbour, quickly reached over 3,400 signatures. In December the Green Party hosted an American activist – whose community is already impacted by the fracking of natural gas that could be imported through Cork & Shannon – who presented the petition to the Port of Cork on behalf of Not Here Not Anywhere.