COP26: Taoiseach promises Ireland will double contribution to developing countries by 2025

COP26: Taoiseach promises Ireland will double contribution to developing countries by 2025

TAOISEACH Micheál Martin today addressed the COP26 Climate Conference which is currently taking place in Glasgow - asking the world and heads of states to "move forward together" in the climate crisis.

He spoke for an allotted three minutes shortly before 4pm this afternoon and said that while climate change is real and its scale both unprecedented and intensifying, "it is not too late" to change as outlined in an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report published in August.

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

"We believe in the immense capacity of humans to work together and to achieve great things.

"If we act decisively now, we will offer humanity the most valuable prize of all - a liveable planet."

He mentioned an enactment of legislation to achieve a legally binding target of reducing emissions by 2030 to 51% below 2018 levels, and a commitment to climate neutrality by 2050.

"We are working closely with our EU partners in the green transition that will make Europe the first climate-neutral continent," he continued.

"We are implementing a statutory system of carbon budgeting and emissions ceilings for each sector of the economy."

He also said that developed countries "have, frankly, contributed most to the problems that confront us all" and must support those who are most challenged by the consequences of climate change.

He then announced that Ireland will more than double its contribution to developing countries to at least €225m a year by 2025.

The Taoiseach said he will do anything in his power to ensure that jobs and livelihoods will not be lost in the transition to a greener future, and that consumers do not bear the financial burden of such a transition.

"The IPCC report made it clear that every tonne of carbon warms the world. Every second of delay makes our task that bit bigger.

"Let us leave Glasgow with a renewed commitment to doing what we know needs to be done.

"Let us move forward together now," he concluded.

Prince Charles previously described COP26 as the "last chance saloon" for the future of humanity, with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was "one minute to midnight" having run down the clock on waiting to combat climate change.

Once the heads of state depart, country delegations, often led by ministers of environment, will engage in days of negotiations, events and exchanges to adopt their positions, make new pledges and join new initiatives.

Among the main goals of the conference is to increase targets to reach net zero carbon emissions by the middle of the century, increase climate finance to help poorer countries, the phasing out coal use and generating solutions that preserve, restore or regenerate natural carbon sinks.