What does COP26 mean for the Irish State and how are the government responding?

What does COP26 mean for the Irish State and how are the government responding?

ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE and Communications Minister Eamon Ryan has announced that he will head the Irish climate delegation scheduled for discussions in Glasgow between Monday 8 November and Friday 12 November.

Minister Ryan will be supported by experts from environmental interest groups and government entities, including Met Eireann, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), whose areas of priority according to the Daily Mirror are set to be “science, adaptation, agriculture and gender”.

Before these more detailed discussions are due to take place involving the Irish delegation, An Taoiseach Michéal Martin will attend the World Leaders’ Summit today and tomorrow, whilst Minister for Agriculture, Marine and Food Charlie McConalogue, is expected to attend COP26 later in the week.

Following Minister Ryan’s arrival at COP26 on 8 November, Ireland will then co-host four events, including:

  • ‘Champions Group on Adaptation Finance’ at the Resilience Hub, Monday 8 November (6-7pm).
  • ‘Public Engagement and Renewable Energy’ at the Virtual & Shared Pavilion, Tuesday 9 November (7:30-9pm).
  • ‘Addressing the Ocean in Supporting Climate Justice in Small Island Developing States’ at the AOSIS Pavilion, Wednesday 10 November (2-3pm).
  • ‘European Peatlands Initiative’ at the Peatlands Pavilion, Friday 12 November (11am-1pm).

Ireland will be expected to take something of a leading role on setting the tone for the event after Ireland, Denmark, Costa Rica, the Marshall Islands and five other countries urged the world's biggest economies to hike their climate pledges.

These demands ultimately took the form of a letter addressed and sent to Prime Minister Mario Draghi of Italy, current president of the G20.

“The window for taking decisive climate action is rapidly closing,” the letter said.