Taoiseach tells COP26 that Ireland accepts its climate obligations

Taoiseach tells COP26 that Ireland accepts its climate obligations

MICHEÁL MARTIN told world leaders and delegates at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow last night that Ireland is ‘ready to play its part’, and that countries in the developed world needed to accept more responsibility for causing damage to the planet.

Striking an uncharacteristically hopeful note at a conference marred by disagreements, protests and the non-attendance of both the Chinese and Russian premiers, Mr Martin said:

“If we act decisively now, we will offer humanity the most valuable prize of all – a liveable planet.”

Mr Martin also revealed that Ireland would assist developing countries in moving away from an overreliance on fossil fuels, telling delegates:

“In support of achieving the $100bn target, I am pleased to announce that Ireland will more than double its contribution to developing countries, so that we are delivering at least €225m a year by 2025.

“As leaders, if we are to bring people with us on this journey of a lifetime we must also recognise and respect the real anxiety that many people feel when confronted by such an enormous challenge.”

His appeal to other world leaders was to take seriously the commitments made at COP26, warning that the consequences of climate change were already manifesting in extreme weather events.

“The IPCC Report in August confirmed to us that it is widespread, it is rapid, and it is intensifying,” he said.

“The scale of this change is unprecedented, but, as the report made clear, it is not too late.

“Human actions still have the potential to determine the future course of climate, the very future of our planet.

He urged delegates to keep the promises made at the Paris Climate Accord, which stated that warming should be limited to a maximum of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

To this end, he said, Ireland has legally committed itself to reducing overall CO2 emissions by almost half by 2030. The country also aims to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, Mr Martin said.