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Sunday 21 January 2018

Mary Robinson makes final climate change warning

Mary Robinson at the One Young World Summit
Mary Robinson at the One Young World Summit

THIS is the last generation in a position to help prevent dangerous climate change, former president Mary Robinson warned.

UN negotiations in Paris due to be held in November will be the last chance to draft a "robust agreement" which will help keep global temperature rises below 2C, and failure to act will impact on millions of people around the globe.

Ms Robinson, who is president of the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice, told the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA) that 2015 was a "historic year" and that failure to act would "wipe out" gains made in recent years to help developing nations.

"Considerable progress has been made, but 1.2 billion people live in extreme poverty. Half the world's wealth is owed by 1pc," she said.

"2015 is a historic year where a robust agreement must be drafted. Left unchecked, climate change has the potential to wipe out gains made (on development goals) in recent decades.

"We are the last generation who can do something about climate.

"We have the opportunity to make this year count."

Ms Robinson said that transition to a low-carbon economy would "not be easy", but the business community recognised a need for change.

"The next five years are critical for building change," she said.

"Climate change forces us to consider a complete transformation."

Irish Independent

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