8th October 2018
The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten TD, has noted the publication today (8 October 2018) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on the Impacts of Global Warming of 1.5⁰C.
With global warming currently at a level of 1⁰C above pre-industrial levels, this Report provides timely and detailed information on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C and 2°C and on global greenhouse gas emissions reduction pathways to keep global warming within the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement.
Reacting to the publication of the Report, Minister Naughten stated:
"This Report paints in stark terms the reality of the impact of our current trajectory of global emissions and the world we will be living in later this century if our collective ambition for climate action does not increase.
"The Government's commitment to direct almost €30 billion under the National Development Plan to address the transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient society represents a step change in the funding available for climate action over the next decade. As a Government we are fully committed to placing Ireland on the trajectory to deliver the deep emissions reductions needed. This week at EU Council Ireland will be calling for increased ambition, of at least 40% improvements and as far as technically possible beyond that, in the level of CO2 emissions for new cars and vans under vehicle emissions standards."
Minister Naughten noted that the impacts of climate change will continue to be felt, in Ireland and across the world, while global economies struggle to manage their emissions.
"In January I published Ireland's first statutory National Adaptation Framework which sets out our national strategy for climate adaptation. Under the Framework, 12 priority sectors will prepare sectoral adaptation plans by 30 September next year, and adaptation planning at local authority level will also be introduced. The work undertaken under the Framework alongside adequate investment will be crucially important in moving us towards a more climate resilient Ireland. Government will invest €940m under the National Development Plan to proactively manage flood risks and reduce our vulnerability to certain impacts of climate change that we witness in Ireland all too often."
Ireland's own long-term vision of a low-carbon and climate resilient economy commits to:
- an aggregate reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of at least 80% (compared to 1990 levels) by 2050 across the electricity generation, built environment and transport sectors, and
- in parallel, an approach to carbon neutrality in the agriculture and land-use sector, including forestry, which does not compromise capacity for sustainable food production
The National Policy Position will be expanded upon in a new long-term low emissions strategy which must be prepared by the start of 2020, addressing long-term greenhouse gas emissions reductions in the European Union out to 2050 in accordance with the Paris Agreement.
Minister Naughten, emphasising that 80% represents a minimum goal, added:
"The long-term strategy will further elaborate on how Ireland will achieve its long-term decarbonisation objectives as described in the National Policy Position. In light of the IPCC's conclusions, our current 2050 decarbonisation objectives must now be seen as the absolute minimum necessary for Ireland to contribute effectively to the Paris Agreement objectives."
Minister Naughten will lead the Irish delegation at COP 24, which will take place in Katowice, Poland, from 2 to 14 December 2018. The IPCC Special Report will form part of a global assessment of the adequacy of current global climate ambition.
"At COP 24 we are aiming to complete the rulebook for the Paris Agreement to put in place a transparent and robust system to drive the highest ambition by all Parties to the Agreement. Ireland and the EU have already made commitments for 2030 which are amongst the most ambitious of all Parties to the Agreement. It is clear however that we will need to scale up our ambition over time, informed by a clear scientific assessment of the impacts, challenges and opportunities presented by climate change which the IPCC's Report confirms," concluded Minister Naughten.