Minister needs to redouble efforts to achieve carbon reduction targets

The agreement reached on a loss and damage fund for poorer countries at COP27 should not distract the Government from its climate change responsibilities, according to Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore.

Deputy Whitmore, who is the party’s spokesperson on Climate and Biodiversity, said:

“Minister Eamon Ryan and his team of civil servants deserve credit for the role they played in leading EU negotiations and securing hard-won consensus on a loss and damage fund for developing countries.

“However, there is more to achieving climate justice than just financial compensation. Wealthier nations that produce the lion’s share of carbon emissions have a responsibility not to inflict irreparable damage in the first place.

“Simply writing a cheque will not protect poorer countries from the devastating consequences of climate change in the long-term.

“Across the entire EU, we need systemic change in how we consume energy, how we travel and how we farm. This is the only way we can cut back on our carbon emissions and reduce global warming.

“In Ireland, this will mean investing heavily in solar and offshore wind energy. We also need to incentivise public transport usage and get serious about biodiversity conservation.

“The reality is that this Government’s report card on climate change is not good. Our overall emissions went up last year and we have the second highest carbon emissions in the EU.

“Despite the success of COP27 on the issue of loss and damage, there can be no room for complacency. The Minister needs to redouble his efforts if Ireland has any chance of achieving the targets set out in the Government’s Climate Action Plan by 2030.”

November 29, 2022

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