News and Events
UCC Environmental Law Clinic Research Makes a Splash in National Media
A report published in May 2020 on ‘The Regulation of Smoky Fuels in Ireland: Assessing Options for Reform’ prepared for the Asthma Society of Ireland (ASI) by the UCC Environmental Law Clinic has featured prominently in news media coverage of the Government’s announcement of an extension of the current ban on smoky (bituminous) coal to a further 13 towns.
The report was prepared by four students on the LLM (Environmental & Natural Resources Law) Programme taking the optional Environmental Law Clinic module, during the course of which the students prepare an expert advisory report on a critically important issue of environmental law or policy. During 2020, the students collaborated with the ASI to carry out leading-edge research in support of the Society’s work in advocating for cleaner air through more effective regulation and governance.
The Environmental Law Clinic report received multiple mentions in the print version of the Irish Times and on their website:
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/nine-key-actions-to-improve-irish-air-quality-and-human-health-1.4343986?mode=amp (Irish Times, 2 September 2020)
The Environmental Law Clinic Report for the Asthma Society of Ireland (ASI) has been made available on ASI’s website: https://www.asthma.ie/smoky-fuels.
It has also featured very prominently in a recent ASI Political Briefing: https://www.asthma.ie/sites/default/files/files/document_bank/2020/Aug/Asthma%20Society%20of%20Ireland_Smoky%20Fuel%20Briefing.pdf and in the ASI’s Press Release regarding the transition towards a nationwide smoky fuel ban: https://www.asthma.ie/news/asthma-society-calls-irish-government-transition-toward-a-nationwide-smoky-fuel-ban-bid-reduce
The findings set out in the report, which recommends that Ireland moves to a nationwide ban on all smoky solid fuels has had a profound impact on the ASI’s policy position in respect of the regulation of smoky domestic solid fuels and on the Society’s advocacy activities and messaging.
Professor Owen McIntyre, Co-Director of the UCC Centre for Law and the Environment, further noted in the ASI press release:
"To avoid risk of exacerbating fuel poverty the UCC study suggests that the move should be introduced in tandem with a package of ‘just transition’ measures to benefit those dependent on smoky solid fuels for domestic heating and those employed in related industries. Such social safeguards would be entirely consistent with the EU law requirement that a measure potentially impacting the internal market should be part of a seriously considered policy.”