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Ambitious action for climate change needed – Senator Kathryn Reilly

13 November, 2014

Speaking today during the Joint Committee on European Union Affairs, Sinn Féin Senator Kathryn Reilly pressed the Minister for European Affairs to request that the European Commission put forward proposals for more ambitious action on climate change.

Senator Reilly said:

“What action will the Minister be taking during his participation at the Forthcoming EU General Affairs Council 18-19th November 2014? Will he be putting forward robust proposals for action on climate change?

“It's vital that the Irish Government takes necessary steps to demonstrate leadership for an ambitious global deal on climate change by December 2015.

“In agreeing to ‘at least’ 40% reductions in greenhouse gases by 2030, the European Council acknowledged that 40% falls short of the necessary action the EU should take. We must put it to the European Commission that the 40% commitment must be upheld.

“Trócaire sets out the following recommendations in order to prevent and respond to the worst effects of climate change: 

-The establishment of a fair, legally binding framework on climate change that keeps global temperature rises as far below 2°C as possible, and ensures that the most vulnerable women and men can adapt to the impacts of climate change.

-The switch to more sustainable ways of producing and consuming, in particular energy and agriculture.  

- The support and promotion of sustainable agricultural approaches and secure access to natural resources to ensure that the most vulnerable people can adapt to the impacts of climate change.

“The Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) currently under negotiation could threaten to undermine future action on tackling climate change on both sides of the Atlantic, undermining the ability of states to protect communities, citizens, and the environment.

“It's important that the Irish government represents the concerns of civil society regarding this, and in particular concerns regarding the inclusion of an Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism within the TTIP negotiations.”

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