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Ireland is world leader in reducing carbon emissions footprint - Taoiseach

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said Ireland has been a world leader in reducing its carbon emissions footprint.

Speaking at the United Nations Climate 2014 summit in New York, Mr Kenny said the gathering of world leaders was important as "the clock is ticking" to protect the future of humanity.

In his four minute address to leaders, Mr Kenny said: "Global warming is a stark reality that can only be dealt with by a collective global response. We are all interdependent... we share a common humanity... and each of us must play our part."

Mr Kenny said the conference was called because of the failure of a previous agreement signed in Copenhagen and said it was an important precursor to a key summit in Paris next year.

"Copenhagen wasn't the success that people might have imagined it should be simply because agreement couldn't be had from all of the leading nations," he said.

"What's going on here today as part of the process is that countries are invited to set out their own particular individual national agendas and Ireland has a very good track record on this," he added.

"All of the main themes conclude that the clock is ticking, that we don't have any time to waste," Mr Kenny told reporters ahead of his address.

The decisions that are being made now by world leaders, by governments and by corporations are going to have a serious impact one way or the other on the future of humanity. So it's that serious," the Taoiseach said.

 Asked about Ireland's record on climate change, Mr Kenny listed the country's achievements in recent years'

"We have introduced the carbon tax. We are world leaders in carbon footprint and low emissions with a high standard in food standards and production. We intend to continue that. We are supporters of the alliance," he said.

He added: "We are contributors to the sub-Sahara area through our program. We have exceeded our Kyoto targets and we have contributed more than €100 million over the period which we have set out. So Ireland is in good shape and we want to contribute as part of the European debate here in arriving at targets that are fair, that are ambitious, that are sustainable."

Online Editors