Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Questions (553)

Micheál Martin


553. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will report on the discussions at the December 2019 Environment Council meeting on climate change; and the way in which the EU plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. [52992/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

The Environment Council will take place on Thursday 19 December. The Council is expected to discuss EU environment and climate policy in the new legislative term and the European Commission will present its communication on the 'European Green Deal'. This Communication, published last week, provides the roadmap to embed climate action into all policies and reaffirms the EU's commitment to tackling climate and environmental related challenges through an economy-wide approach.

At its meeting on 12 and 13 December, the European Council also endorsed the EU’s 2050 climate neutrality target.

Ireland supports these two significant steps forward, which reaffirm the EU's commitment and leadership role in tackling climate and delivering on the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

The twenty-fifth Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 25) took place from 2 to 13 December in Madrid, Spain, where the main focus was to finalise the ‘Katowice rulebook’ which will support operationalising the Paris Agreement and clear the path for raising ambition at COP26 in Glasgow.

Ireland aligned with a group of ambitious countries which agreed the ‘San Jose Principles for High Ambition and Integrity in International Carbon Markets’, underlining our position that the only acceptable outcome is one which does not undermine the environmental integrity of the Paris Agreement.

Despite extensive negotiations, Parties were unable to reach agreement on the modalities for Article 6 and negotiations on these provisions will continue in 2020.