Monday 19 March 2018

Minister Naughten to highlight Ireland's plastic bag levy during climate change talks

Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

Minister for Climate Change Denis Naughten will this week highlight the success of Ireland's plastic bag levy during climate change talks in Morocco.

It is expected that European environment and marine ministers will sign a 'Declaration of Intent' aimed at tackling plastic bag pollution.

The plastic bag levy was introduced in Ireland in 2002 and was a first of its kind, resulting in a 90pc reduction in the use of plastic bags.

Mr Naughten begins a four-day trip to Marrakesh today to participate in UN talks on the Paris Agreement.

He will lead the Irish delegation for the political phase of COP22 – the global Climate Change summit.

Discussions will focus on how best to implement the agreement, including how to measure and report emissions so that countries can be held accountable.

The agreement, signed by 196 countries across the world, aims to fight global warming by curbing the rise in greenhouse gas emissions, primarily carbon dioxide from fossil fuels.

It was officially ratified by Ireland on November 4.

"Ireland has shown a strong commitment to playing its part both domestically and on the global stage.

"Since playing a role in reaching the Paris Agreement last year and enacting our first ever climate legislation, we have also been engaging with the European Union on our commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030,” Minister Naughten said.

“I look forward to joining with the EU in moving forward to implementing the Paris Agreement and also intend to take the opportunity to meet with some of Ireland's key overseas partners to discuss the range of actions being taken around the world to reduce emissions and adapt to the adverse effects of climate change. Ireland's team here at COP22 includes representatives of our key sectors as we coordinate both our engagement on the international stage and our actions back home.”

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