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02nd Nov 2021

“I will do everything in my power” – Taoiseach promises major climate action for future generations

Stephen Porzio

He said it is vital that leaders “offer the leadership the world now urgently needs”.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has made his address to the COP26 climate change conference, stating he will do everything in his power to make sure there will be a “worthwhile future” for young people to inherit.

Representing Ireland at the nearly two-week-long UN conference in Glasgow, the Taoiseach opened his statement by saying it is vital that leaders “offer the leadership the world now urgently needs”.

Referencing August’s harrowing IPCC report, Martin said climate change is real and that “it is widespread, it is rapid, and it is intensifying”, but that “it is not too late” to make a difference.

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

“To achieve our Paris goals, immediate, large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are essential. Unless we act now, we will not keep the possibility of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees alive.”

“As political leaders, it is our responsibility to put the necessary policies in place.”

He added that Ireland is “ready to play its part,” explaining that the country has enacted legislation to put a legally binding target of reducing emissions by 2030 to 51% below 2018 levels and climate neutrality by 2050.

“We can achieve a cooler world. A biodiverse world. A world with healthier air for us to breathe, healthier soil for things to grow in. A world in which people can live more sustainable lives, handing a healing and enriched planet to future generations,” the Taoiseach added.

“We can create a world in which human impact on all parts of our ecosphere – the land, the sea, the air – is brought back into balance.

“Those of us in the developed world – those who have, frankly, contributed most to the problems that confront us – all have an obligation to support those who are most acutely challenged by their consequences.”

In keeping with this, he said Ireland will “more than double” its contribution to developing countries so that the country is delivering at least €225 million a year by 2025.

“Our young people worry that there will be no worthwhile future for them to inherit,” he stated.

“Workers worry that their jobs will disappear, leaving them without a livelihood. Consumers, already feeling the impact of energy price rises, feel that the transition will be too costly for them to bear.

“In response, I say I will do everything in my power, working with all of the leaders here today, to make sure that that is not so.

“To ensure that we will succeed in limiting emissions; to ensure that the transition we deliver is jobs-rich and economically sustainable; to ensure that there is real climate justice and nobody, in any part of the world, is left behind.”

He ended his address by calling for world leaders to leave Glasgow with “a renewed commitment to doing what we know needs to be done”.

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