Ireland must accelerate to a low-carbon economy, according to MEP for Ireland South Sean Kelly.

The comments come as Kelly was speaking from Katowice, Poland, on the final day of the COP24 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference on Friday, December 14.

Kelly highlighted the importance of the ongoing discussions in order to meet the objectives under the Paris Agreement.

The leader of Fine Gael in the European Parliament said: “We need a strong plan that empowers citizens to install renewable energy in their homes and that incentivises community ownership of renewable infrastructure.

These discussions are extremely important if we are serious about tackling climate change and meeting our objectives.

“I strongly condemn the reluctance of countries like Saudi Arabia, the US, Kuwait, Brazil and Russia during the conference to welcome the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on climate change earlier this year.”

Continuing, he outlined: “Ambition needs to be shown and such attitudes are extremely unhelpful at this critical juncture.

“Ireland has some of the best renewable energy resources in the world through our wind, seas and agriculture.”

He also stressed the opportunity for Ireland to show ambition in its 2030 National Climate and Energy Plan.

He also believes that Ireland would be “ideal” for the large scale roll-out of electric vehicles and also said there is “huge potential” to increase forest cover to sequester carbon from the atmosphere.

“I look forward to reading the draft plan and discussing the detail with Minister Bruton in the coming months,” Kelly concluded.