Ireland commits to reducing greenhouse gases by 40% by 2030

Ireland today committed to reducing greenhouse gases by at least 40% by 2030, by signing the Paris Agreement on climate change in New York.

The Minister for the Environment, Alan Kelly, signed the agreement on behalf of Ireland which was adopted by all 196 nations of the UN in Paris in December last year.

Discussions on the respective responsibilities of individual Member States to meet this commitment are under way.

Once those discussion are agreed, the next step in the implementation of the Paris Agreement will be through the ratification process.

Speaking in New York, Minister Kelly, said that the Paris Agreement echoes Ireland’s resolve, underpinned by my enactment last December of Ireland’s first ever climate change legislation, the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015, to continue the process of pursuing a transition to a low carbon and climate resilient economy.

He said the Paris Agreement sends an unequivocal message to business, stakeholders and citizens that all Governments are committed to playing their part in addressing the challenges posed by climate change.

The nations also agreed to work together to limit global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, but also to pursue efforts for a 1.5 degrees target.

Minister Kelly said he was very proud to represent the Irish people on this very important process, having led the Irish delegation during the negotiations.

John Muldowney, Agricultural Inspector with the Department of Agriculture, said in February that Ireland is well placed to be a world leader in addressing climate change.

Speaking at the Agricultural Science Association’s Climate Change Forum in recent months he said that by 2050, the planet will need to produce 70% more food with less land, water and energy while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“Ireland is well placed to continue showing leadership in the creation of innovative solutions where climate action is at the centre of sustainable food production,” Muldowney said.

Last year, ICOS President Martin Keane said that a carbon efficient Irish agri-food industry can play a leading role in meeting the twin global challenges of climate change and food security.