Good Energies Alliance Ireland (GEAI) is celebrating its 10th anniversary! Ten years of hard work to protect our wonderful planet. But do you know the association and what are its missions? For people who do not yet know about GEAI, let’s roll back the clock and look at the last 10 years of activities and achievements by our volunteers.

What is GEAI?

Good Energies Alliance Ireland (GEAI) is an environmental NGO founded in 2011 based in Leitrim. It focuses on highlighting Climate Action, especially in rural areas of Ireland, but its remit is all-island.

GEAI wants a thriving and climate-resilient rural community, linking sustainability and well-being. It works to discuss the transition towards ecological sustainability, focusing on climate action and circular economy to achieve the goals:
• net-zero emissions in Leitrim by 2040 (Climate Neutrality);
• creation of job and educational opportunities through climate action, to safeguard the well-being of the rural population;
• raising awareness about climate crisis, targeting schools and communities;
• support inclusion, solidarity and active citizenship.

GEAI is also an European Solidarity Corps (ESC) coordinating organisation, hosting around three to four young European volunteers in Ireland and acting as a supportive organisation for young Irish people who would like to volunteer abroad.

GEAI - ESC volunteers

Time Machine: Former accomplishments of the GEAI

GEAI’s first campaign was about fracking which has disastrous impacts on the environment (land, air, water) and on humans (public health). The NGO was at the forefront of the campaign against fracking. After several years of actions and battles. e.g marches and demonstrations; meetings and proposals for events to raise awareness for people and public authorities. A legislation was signed into law in 2017, banning on-shore fracking in Ireland. A real victory for our team of volunteers!

Then, GEAI shifted its mission towards the promotion of a climate-resilient future for rural communities with the Cróga initiative in 2019, the second main GEAI’s project. Its goal was to promote community-based Climate Dialogue leading to implementation of grassroots Climate Actions and pave the way for a just transition to a Net-Zero county. The GEAI Cróga Report was adopted by Leitrim County Council and is forming the basis for its Climate Plan for 2022.

In addition, GEAI was involved in many other projects:
• It organised several conferences in order to share resources and build networks with other organisations and create debates within the communities;
• Carried out some studies and surveys like the “Boyle Powerful Community Pathway”, “Northwest Energy Communities Start-up” and the “Energy Audit of Manorhamilton”;
• Managed international environmental projects with young volunteers like the “Climate Change People Change” and “Youth Democracy” projects;
• Hosted Climate Action Days in school sand Climate Dialogue sessions for adults (on-going).

Cróga - dialogue session

Future prospects

GEAI would like to expand on hosting more young European volunteers to help develop more projects to raise awareness on climate change and to improve the well-being of communities, locally and nationally. It also wants to expand its national profile by:
• Delivering area-based on-line climate dialogue sessions to communities using design thinking methodologies.
• Organising and participating in national climate action campaigns.
• Making submissions on national policy public consultations.
• As a member of the national SEC network, to expand its involvement in local and regional plans for renewable energy.

Author: Célia Melcus