The COP26 deal struck in Glasgow on Saturday evening will “keep 1.5 alive”, in reference to the international commitment by 197 countries to limit global temperature rises to 1.5°C.
Ireland’s Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, said the consensus was that, while the deal was not perfect, it struck a necessary balance between increasing climate ambition and supporting climate justice for the developing world.
He summarised the COP26 actions:
Speaking from Glasgow, Minister Ryan said: “What the world has done today is to keep 1.5 alive, recommitting to keep the global temperature increase at a level that is liveable for humanity.
“We can only do that by delivering, including keeping our promises in Ireland to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half this decade and to reach net zero by 2050.
“However, it is deeply disappointing that the proposal to phase out unabated coal and inefficient fossil fuel subsidies has been watered down as part of the compromise needed to agree a deal.”
Ireland has pledged to:
Minister Ryan also launched a new National Dialogue on Climate Action (NDCA) from COP26. This event saw the announcement of €60m from the Climate Action Fund, to be invested in community climate action projects and initiatives over the next three years.
UN secretary general António Guterres described the approved COP26 deal as “a compromise”.
“They reflect the interests, the conditions, the contradictions and the state of political will in the world today,” he said.
“They take important steps, but unfortunately the collective political will was not enough to overcome some deep contradictions.
“Our fragile planet is hanging by a thread. We are still knocking on the door of climate catastrophe. It is time to go into emergency mode — or our chance of reaching net zero will itself be zero,” he warned.
“I reaffirm my conviction that we must end fossil fuels subsidies. Phase out coal. Put a price on carbon. Build resilience of vulnerable communities against the here and now impacts of climate change. And make good on the $100bn climate finance commitment to support developing countries.
“We did not achieve these goals at this conference. But we have some building blocks for progress.
“Commitments to end deforestation. To drastically reduce methane emissions. To mobilise private finance around net zero.”