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Minister Denis Naughten secures Dáil Éireann approval for Paris Agreement on Climate Change

27 October 2016


Today (27 October) the ratification of the Paris Agreement was approved by Dáil Éireann. The Agreement was adopted at the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) in Paris on 12 December 2015 under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Agreement sets out a global action plan to restrict the impact of emissions on global warming, to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C.


“Today is a turning point with the formal approval by Dáil Éireann of the Paris Agreement.  It is the basis for doing more and for allowing communities in Ireland with other countries around the world to take decisive actions which ultimately safeguard our shared future on this planet,” stated Minister Naughten.


“The word ‘global’ in global warming, accurately summarises the incontrovertible science underlying the threat facing our planet. It is also in its vastness, potentially daunting, even discouraging. How can any one country, especially a small one, make a difference? How can any one of us meaningfully contribute? Politically, today’s approval is a significant contribution.  It is the task of politics, it is the task I intend to apply myself to, to bridge the chasm between global challenge and national responsibility, and between Ireland’s obligation and every single citizen’s responsibilities.  Energy and Climate Action are inextricably linked. Using less energy, and using it more efficiently, is the most cost effective and accessible way for us all to take action on climate change,” added Naughten. 


The Agreement aims to tackle 95% of global emissions through 188 Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). Ireland will contribute to the Paris Agreement via the INDC tabled by the EU on behalf of its Member States which commits to 40% reduction in EU-wide emissions by 2030 compared to 1990. As of Thursday 27 October 2016, 86 Parties to the Convention (including the EU and ten Member States) accounting in total for 61.72 per cent of the total global greenhouse gas emissions have deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval. The Agreement will enter into force at the next Conference of the Parties (COP22) which will be held in Marrakesh from 7 to 18 November 2016.


Ireland is a strong supporter of the Paris Agreement and indicated its continuing commitment by signing the Agreement, along with other EU member states, at the signing ceremony in New York on 22nd April this year. Ireland began its domestic ratification process on 18 October with the agreement of Government to seek the approval of Dáil Éireann for Ireland to ratify the agreement.


The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan has signed the instrument of ratification following today’s Dáil approval.



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