21st March

COP21: EU pressure on Ireland for a 'credible plan'

The landmark Paris Agreement will not deliver the climate stability it promises, without consistent public pressure for action and accountability, according to Friends of the Earth.

It will however increase the pressure on Ireland as the attention turns to negotiations in Brussels in 2016, to agree each country's 2030 target, says the environmental justice organisation.


Speaking from Paris, FoE Ireland chair, Dr Cara Augustenborg said the Agreement was too weak to deliver climate justice and safety on its own and that the gap between ambition and action was too big.

"The goal of limiting warming to 1.5C is welcome but delaying our zero carbon future until the end of the century would be deadly," she warned.

"The 1.5C goal puts fossil fuels on the wrong side of history but leaders don't quite have the courage to say so in the deal."

Commenting on the impact for Ireland, FoE director Oisin Coghan believes the target will increase pressure on Ireland to deliver a "credible plan" to cut omissions.

"With a 2C goal the EU already had a target of reducing emissions by 80-95% by 2050 compared to 1990, and the Irish government has adopted the objective of reducing net national emissions by at least 80% now underpinned by the Climate Action Bill.

"With the government so far exempting agriculture for making any pollution cuts, that puts huge pressure on home-owners, businesses transport and power generation, to reduce their emissions. Otherwise the taxpayer faces fines running into billions of Euros from 2020," he warned.

Meanwhile, the latest figures from the Environmental Protection Agency indicate that Irish emissions in 2014 were still marginally above 1990.

"These figures make it all the more credible that this government will complete its 5-year term without producing either an Action Plan to reduce emissions or an Action Plan to cope with the impacts of climate change. 

"While Ireland continues to plead for special treatment for agri-business, I see no reason to believe that either the Commission or other member states will be in any mood to reward Irish inaction, especially now that we're the fastest growing economy in Europe," Coghlan warned.


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