Bruton admits ‘world is watching’ as Minister addresses COP25

11 Dec 2019

Delegates on stage at COP25. Image: UNFCCC

At COP25, Minister Richard Bruton promised the world that Ireland is taking climate action seriously.

With Ireland’s reputation as a ‘climate laggard’ in tow, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton, TD, arrived in Madrid to deliver the country’s statement at COP25.

The UN climate conference has brought representatives from many of the world’s governments to discuss progress in actions to limit emissions, increase renewable energy roll-out and present some of the latest academic findings.

Speaking this morning (11 December), Bruton again stated that “climate disruption is the biggest challenge of our time”.

“It requires an unprecedented level of international cooperation. I believe it can be done and Ireland is determined to play its part,” he said.

“We are now implementing the Climate Action Plan, which will ensure we meet our future climate commitments, putting us on a trajectory to be net zero emissions by 2050.”

‘The world is watching. We must catch this historic tide in the affairs of mankind’

Announced at the conference was that Ireland will be joining the Carbon Neutral Coalition (CNC), which will see members advocate for greater ambition to work towards goals set by the Paris Agreement and encourage others to join in their bid to become carbon-neutral nations.

“By joining the CNC, we commit to develop the roadmap for 2050, to embed this goal in every element of policy to mobilise citizens and enterprise and to work with other countries for concerted effort,” Bruton added.

“The world is watching. We must catch this historic tide in the affairs of mankind.”

Bruton’s comments come after Ireland was once again marked out as a poor performer in climate action by the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) compiled by Germanwatch.

In the list of 61 countries, Ireland placed in 41st place behind Indonesia and Belarus. However, Ireland has risen seven places in the rankings since the last CCPI, with it now being seen as a low performer, rather than a very low performer.

At the far end of the scale, the US was ranked as the worst performing nation, with Saudi Arabia and Taiwan ranking slightly higher.

In response, a spokesperson for the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment said that the Germanwatch report – based on data from 2017 – did not take into account what has been laid out by the Climate Action Plan.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic