Tuesday 21 May 2019

Ireland 'needs to step up' its efforts to tackle global warming - Government tells UN climate talks

Minister Richard Bruton
Minister Richard Bruton
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

IRELAND "needs to step up" its efforts to tackle global warming, the Government has told the UN climate talks.

Climate Action Minister Richard Bruton pledged that Ireland would "carry its responsibility" and warned that time was running out for countries to affect real change and reduce emissions.

"The window is very fast closing in which we can, as a community of nations, respond to this challenge. Our failure to respond will be catastrophic," he said.

"The technology we need is largely available. This isn’t about asking us to do things never dreamt of. Every home, every worker, every enterprise, every public service has to buy into the concept that what they do matters.

"Ireland needs to step up. We will carry our responsibility. Hopefully we will reach an historic agreement over the coming days," he added.

He was speaking as diplomats and negotiators in Katowice in Poland attempt to strike a deal to verify how countries are reducing emissions to comply with the 2015 Paris Climate Deal, which aims to keep average global temperature rise to no more than 2C by 2100, and ‘pursue efforts’ to keep them below 1.5C.

Mr Bruton said Ireland had committed additional finance to help developing countries adapt, and that communities had to buy-into the need to take action.

The State has allocated some €4.5m to fund international co-operation on climate action.

The money will be allocated to the Green Climate Fund to help developing nations adapt, with some €1.2m to be directed to the Great Green Wall Initiative, which aims to halt the southward spread of the Sahara Desert by planting a green landscape across 8,000kms from the Horn of Africa to Dakar, with funding also allocated for other climate projects.

"We are almost 200 countries meeting together. It’s so important we can work together to solve something which, if we fail, will blight future generations," the minister added.

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