I propose to take Questions Nos. 55 and 60 together.
Ireland participates in UNFCCC negotiations in its capacity as a Party to the Convention, and also as a Member State of the European Union. Representatives of civil society, such as the organisation to which the Deputy refers, may attend meetings of the UNFCCC as observers to the negotiation process. While I have not engaged directly with this particular organisation, Ireland’s delegation to the UNFCCC regularly meets representatives of civil society, in particular organisations from Ireland, that attend the annual Conference of the Parties.
I note that the report, published by the organisation referred to, shares the conclusions of the IPCC Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5C, published in October 2018, on the urgency of ambitious action to tackle the challenges of climate change. Addressing climate change, whether through decarbonisation of our economy, or preparing to adapt to the impacts of climate change such as through low-risk land-sector approaches as highlighted in the report, is one of the most significant challenges of this century. The IPCC, through its reports, has confirmed the absolute urgency of achieving deep cuts in our greenhouse gas emissions over the coming decades.
I recently published the Government’s Climate Action Plan 2019, which puts Ireland on a trajectory to meet our 2030 target for greenhouse gas emissions, and puts us on a pathway to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The Plan reaffirms Ireland’s commitment to becoming a leader in responding to climate change and to supporting increased climate ambition at national, EU and international levels.
As land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) emissions will be integrated into the EU framework for compliance with national emissions targets from 2021, it is essential that Ireland has robust policies in place to manage emissions and enhance removals from relevant LULUCF sectoral categories. The Climate Action Plan, therefore, includes 34 individual actions to facilitate the development and implementation of policies to manage emissions and enhance removals from the Agriculture, Forestry and Land Use sectors.
Ireland’s new policy for international development, ‘A Better World’, which was published earlier this year by the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, also includes climate action as a core priority. By supporting solutions for those most affected by climate change, the new policy will seek to ensure the Ireland continues to champion the needs of those most vulnerable to climate change, especially those in the least developed and small islands states.