Monday 18 December 2017

COP21 Paris: Leading Irish companies call for robust global agreement on climate change

Environment Minister Alan Kelly
Environment Minister Alan Kelly
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

A group of leading Irish companies have called for a robust global agreement on climate change as the Climate Change Conference continues in Paris.

Environment Minister Alan Kelly has welcomed the joint call from businesses including Arup, Deloitte Ireland, Marks & Spencer, Musgrave Group, Roadbridge, Sodexo Ireland and SSE Airtricity.

The group have called for a "definite roadmap for global commerce, ensuring strong policy and regulatory certainty through a new agreement on climate change".

In a pledge to the Environment Minister, the group said they have welcomed the Government's work to date but acknowledge the need now for leadership at both a global and national level.

In response to the pledge, entitled ‘COP21 Commitment and call for action from Irish Business Leaders’, Minister Kelly said: "The need to address climate change and reduce harmful emissions has become a priority for Ireland – and the COP21 pledges are evidence of Irish business commitment.

"As part of this initiative, companies are making significant climate action pledges including reducing their emissions, increasing low-carbon investments and deploying more clean energy in the coming years.”

CEO of Business in the Community in Ireland, one of the groups that collected the pledges, Tina Roche said: "By signing up to this statement, these organisations are demonstrating leadership on this issue and committing to genuine action into the future."

The call comes as Taoiseach Enda Kenny told the UN climate summit in Paris this week that financial challenges will prevent Ireland from making deep cuts in emissions from our agriculture sector to help prevent dangerous climate change.

He warned that not until after 2020, and when the economy recovers, would the State be in a position to meet "aggressive targets".

And he added that "hard bargaining" would take place over the coming weeks to achieve goals which were "fair and reasonable".

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