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Monday 19 March 2018

Demands to stem rise of average global temperatures at 1.5C 'too ambitious' - Alan Kelly

Alan Kelly
Alan Kelly

Paul Melia Environment Editor in Paris

Demands from some of the world's poorest nations that average global temperatures rise by no more than 1.5C are unlikely to be included in a climate deal.

Environment Minister Alan Kelly said the demand will be too difficult to achieve during the UN climate summit, but the lower increase could be stated in the final treaty as a goal to aim for.

Small island nations, which are extremely vulnerable from rising sea levels, believe that the goal of keeping temperature rises to no more than 2C will not prevent widespread damage and force people from their homes.

Commitments already given by countries to limit emissions will only contain temperature rises to 2.7C, the UN says.

“1.5C is extremely ambitious but at a political level we should walk before we run,” Mr Kelly told

“Let's show ambition on the 1.5C but make sure we have something we can all sign up to.

“I want this to be an ambitious deal, this is the last chance saloon. I would love to walk away with 2C. But I believe the document will show 1.5C and that's very important."

The minister added: "I will be pushing for a reduction of below 2C. Whether that remains politically achieveable remains to be seen."

The minister is involved in negotiating how migration and adaptation measures to assist vulnerable nations will be put in place over the coming years.

He said Ireland, Austria and Romania were involved in the negotiations, and that the next 24 hours would be “critical”.

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