The Environmental Pillar has welcomed the decision to support a prohibition on fracking in a report launched by the Joint Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment today.
The Environmental Pillar - a coalition of 26 Irish environmental NGOs - says the decision is the right thing to do to protect our water quality, natural environment and the health and well-being of communities across Ireland.
!As a network we are delighted that the Committee's report can now be added to the mounting global and national peer-reviewed evidence detailing the significant risks and negative impacts associated with unconventional fossil fuel extraction.
"A review of the significant evidence from around the world on the risks and dangers of fracking clearly shows that a simple and immediate ban should be introduced in Ireland.
"The decision is also an important marker of our commitment to tackling climate change and moving to a sustainable low carbon economy.
"The report outlines broad support of the Prohibition of the Exploration and Extraction of Onshore Petroleum Bill 2016 which is due back before the Committee in May, " a statement to www.leitrimobserver.ie states.
As such, the Pillar would now like to see the Committee push for the proposed legislation to pass without delay to ensure that fracking and unconventional extraction of fossil fuels can never be a part of our future.
"This will allow us to instead fully focus on implementing the renewable energy technologies that are powering us now and will power us into the future."
Aedín McLoughlin, spokesperson for the Environmental Pillar, said: "We welcome the publication of the report from the Joint Committee, which makes it very clear that the risks associated with fracking are just too significant to ever let the practice take place here.
"With the support of the cross-party Committee in place, it's now time to crack on and pass the straightforward Bill currently before the Dáil.
"Fracking is a deeply damaging practice. It damages the climate, the environment, and ultimately communities.
"It has serious potential impacts on water and air quality; its long-term impacts are largely unknown and current regulations are inadequate to ensure good practice in the development of this industry.
"The decision not to pursue fracking in Ireland is needed to protect communities from the damaging impacts of fracking, such as the contamination of water, and to meet our climate change commitments.
"We believe renewable energy, energy savings and a significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions provide the only viable path to an environmentally sustainable and healthy future.
"Exploiting unconventional fossil fuels such as shale gas will only increase the world's dependency on fossil fuels and consequently slow down the large-scale deployment of clean energy renewables and energy savings.
"This is not compatible with a climate safe future, and is not compatible with our commitments at local, national, European and International levels to stop contributing to climate change."