No time for Ireland to keep using gas, warns environmental group

No time for Ireland to keep using gas, warns environmental group

The government's decision not to ban gas exploration is a missed opportunity, according to an environmental group.

Friends of the Earth says the move would have made Ireland a world leader in the area.

It comes following yesterday's announcement by the Taoiseach that oil exploration will be banned.

Climate Action Minister Richard Bruton is expected to bring a memo before Cabinet on the issue in the coming weeks.

Friends of the Earth Director, Oisin Coghlan, says while a ban on drilling for oil is welcome, banning gas makes sense too.

"We need to be finished with gas by the middle of the 2030s at the latest," said Mr Coghlan.

So there is no point in looking for new gas now because by the time you get it into production, it will be too late.

"That was a missed opportunity, Ireland could actually had gone into a real leadership position if they had announced a ban on oil and gas exploration.

"There is plenty of gas already on stream. There is plenty of gas that we already get through Scotland and the North Sea.

"There is no shortage in the medium term and in the long term we have to stop using it.

"So this idea that we have to use gas for decades does not square with the science.

"There is no time for us to keep using gas for the next 30 years."

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