By: Garry Walsh
Trócaire has welcomed the Special Report by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This landmark UN report outlines how the world can limit global warming temperatures to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. This is a target set in the global Paris Agreement.
The Special Report, completed by world-leading scientists, analyses how countries can strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty.
Already at crisis level
Commenting on the report, Caoimhe de Barra, CEO of Trócaire said: "This report is a clear call for an urgent increase in action if we are to avoid preventable further devastation. The world is already experiencing the deadly effects of global warming at 1C".
In the countries where we work, the impact of climate change is at crisis level. Extended droughts and increased flooding across east Africa mean that millions of people are facing hunger and struggling to survive. As the planet warms even further, this will only get worse.
The report, commissioned by political leaders at the landmark global climate summit in Paris in 2015, outlines the consequences of an increase in temperature beyond 1.5C. This would include rising sea-levels and the potential disappearance of some low-lying countries.
Every fraction of a degree matters," said de Barra. "Climate change presents a huge risk for all of our futures, but its impact will be felt most by those throughout the developing world who have done the least to cause the issue. The faster we act, the more we reduce the risk to people everywhere, especially the most vulnerable.
"Containing global warming to 1.5C will be a significant challenge, but as this report outlines, it is possible. The report highlights a number of opportunities for countries to step up their commitments on climate change right now".
Ireland is a climate laggard
"With Ireland's reputation as a climate laggard firmly known, it is vital that the Irish government responds to this report with clear commitments to new and increased action and should build on the recent commitment to divest the State's investment fund from fossil fuels."
A special, all-party Oireachtas Committee is currently considering the implementation of the recommendations of the Citizen's Assembly on Climate Change, and the Irish Government is soon to start developing a new national climate action plan.
"We expect to see both processes take heed of the call from the global scientific community and deliver a definitive shift in our climate policy with actions that will significantly reduce our carbon emissions and move Ireland towards a fossil-free future," said de Barra.
See Trócaire film: Drop in the Ocean Ireland and Climate Change? www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTz8xjL6g3E
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