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Frack-down Environmental activists stage protest outside Dail against imported fracked gas as Climate Bill published

The Government’s Climate Action Bill commits to ‘pursue and achieve’ carbon neutrality no later than 2050.

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Members of the Extinction Rebellion environmental campaign group hold a protest outside Leinster House in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)

Members of the Extinction Rebellion environmental campaign group hold a protest outside Leinster House in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)

Members of the Extinction Rebellion environmental campaign group hold a protest outside Leinster House in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)

Environmental activists have held a protest outside Dail Eireann calling on the Government not to backtrack on its promise to ban the importation of fracked gas.

Activists from Extinction Rebellion, Love Leitrim, and Safety Before LNG teamed up to create a socially distanced demonstration in front of Leinster House in Dublin after learning that the new Climate Action and Biodiversity bill will not address policies on fracked gas imports.

The Bill, which was published earlier today, commits the country to “pursue and achieve” carbon neutrality by “no later than the end of the year 2050.”

Three demonstrators stood outside the Leinster House gates to condemn the legislation, saying it does not address the promised ban on fracked gas importations.

Organisers said the performers, who give themselves the moniker Red Rebels, symbolise the common blood shared with all species.

Extinction Rebellion activist Cara Kearney said: “We’re here to protest the lack of a mention of fracking, importing fracked gas in the Climate Bill.

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Members of the Extinction Rebellion environmental campaign group hold a protest outside Leinster House in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)

Members of the Extinction Rebellion environmental campaign group hold a protest outside Leinster House in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)

Members of the Extinction Rebellion environmental campaign group hold a protest outside Leinster House in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)

“Our friends in Safety Before LNG and Love Leitrim found out there isn’t going to be a policy to prevent companies building LNG terminals, which shocked them because it was recommended by the climate committee, so we’re here to protest that.

“It was also recommended by the Human Rights Centre as well.

“Unfortunately the climate crisis is so bad that we need hard and fast drastic action on par with that we’ve seen with Covid.

“There needs to be an immediate ban on imported fracked gas – black and white.”

The Government’s Climate Action Bill was due to be published on Tuesday afternoon.

It commits to “pursue and achieve” carbon neutrality no later than 2050.

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The protest outside Leinster House in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)

The protest outside Leinster House in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)

The protest outside Leinster House in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)

But anti-LNG campaigners have condemned the legislation saying it does not include a ban on the importation of fracked gas.

Dervilla Keegan, of Love Leitrim, said: “We are running out of time. The climate crisis and the communities impacted cannot wait any longer.

“We need the ban on the importation of fracked gas to be in the Climate Bill. This has been recommended by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action last December, and was promised in the Programme for Government last July. And legal opinion from the Irish Centre for Human Rights says it can be done.

“We have a moral obligation to do this for the sake of impacted communities in Texas and Pennsylvania. They have been pleading with us that Ireland does not become a market for fracked gas.”

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