Taoiseach "absolutely confident" Ireland can step up to calls for urgent climate action 2 years ago

Taoiseach "absolutely confident" Ireland can step up to calls for urgent climate action

"I am absolutely confident that we understand the scale of what needs to be done and that we are equal to the task."

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said he is "absolutely confident" that Ireland can step up to calls for urgent climate action.

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His comments come after a report released on Monday from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which has been described as a "code red for humanity".

The report states that human factors are “unequivocally” the cause of rapid changes to sea levels, melting polar ice and glaciers, heatwaves, floods and droughts.

The IPCC has warned that even if world governments can limit warming to 1.5C, sea level rises, the melting of Arctic ice, and the warming and acidification of the oceans are likely irreversible.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Taoiseach called the report "hugely important" and said its publication "could not be more significant or timely, detailing the increasingly dangerous future that is ahead of us, unless action is taken by all of us, now".

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He said that the public's ways of life will be impacted by climate change, with "increasingly devastating consequences for lives, livelihoods and nature unless immediate action is taken".

"Every tonne of emissions matters as every fraction of temperature increase will only worsen the impacts experienced," the Taoiseach stated.

"Climatic changes are no longer assigned to some distant future. The devastating floods across Europe this summer, raging wildfires across the Mediterranean and record-breaking heatwaves in the US and Canada are testament to this.

"Keeping world temperatures below 1.5 degrees has been the higher level ambition of the Paris Agreement, but this report now predicts that the world will exceed this temperature limit. Keeping the world below 2 degrees is still possible, but only with concerted efforts across governments leading to immediate and dramatic cuts in all greenhouse gas emissions."

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The Taoiseach said that Ireland is "stepping up domestically" to the call for urgent climate action.

"The landmark Climate Act was signed into law on 23 July 2021, committing us to 51% emissions reduction by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2050," Martin stated.

"The Climate Action Plan 2021 will be published this Autumn and will reflect our higher level emissions reduction ambition and will set out the direction of Ireland’s response to the deepening climate crisis. We will set out in detail, sector by sector, the targets and steps necessary to achieve our overall objectives.

"The IPCC warns that the window of opportunity to act is closing. The time to act is now and Government is doing so. But Government on its own cannot make the difference required. In our Republic, every citizen, industry and community must embrace this challenge and make the decisions necessary for positive change.

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"I am absolutely confident that we understand the scale of what needs to be done and that we are equal to the task."

Main image via Leah Farrell/©RollingNews.ie