Hollywood star Mark Ruffalo has warned that allowing companies to import fracked gas into Ireland would be a climate ‘disaster.’
The Hulk actor said Ireland had made itself an “international leader on climate change” by making the controversial practice illegal – and warned that it would make no sense to then import it.
Ireland is an international leader on climate change with its ban on fracking,” he wrote.
“For the climate and for public health, it would be disastrous to allow US fracked gas mix into Ireland's energy.”
#Ireland is an international leader on climate change with its ban on #fracking. For the climate and for public health, it would be disastrous to allow US fracked gas mix into Ireland's energy. @LeoVaradkar @FineGael @fiannafailparty @greenparty_ie @pb4p https://t.co/9TMVQa24ru
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) September 24, 2019
It is nearly a year since hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, was officially banned in Ireland.
Ireland was just the fourth country to do so and the Taoiseach used it as an example of Ireland’s commitment to tackling climate change during his speech to the UN yesterday.
Liquified Natural Gas
The concerns highlighted by Ruffalo stem from plans to build a €500m Liquified Natural Gas [LNG] terminal on the Shannon Estuary in County Kerry.
The US company behind the plans, Shannon LNG, plans to import fracked gas from the US into Europe.
The plans have been challenged in the High Court by Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE).
FIE has argued that fracking is “one of the most environmentally harmful methods of gas extraction” and warned that there is no point in banning it only to buy it in from other “irresponsible Governments.”
It said the high levels of methane released by the technique make it “one of the dirtiest of fossil fuels.”
The case has yet to be decided with the European Court of Justice asked to clarify a number of legal points.
Green Party climate spokesperson David Healy said plans to import fracked are “hypocrisy of the highest order.”
“I'm glad Mr Ruffalo has called them out on it,” he said.
“If we are to take climate scientists seriously then we cannot import fracked gas. We have to solve our energy problems here by stepping up our investment in renewable energy here.
“We must make sure that we don't export our problems and contribute to climate breakdown through trade.
He said fossil fuels must be kept in the ground if climate breakdown is to be avoided.