It is very important to acknowledge the role that Ireland played in helping to push for the historic language to transition away from fossil fuels during COP 28.
Minister Eamon Ryan was the co-lead EU negotiator in the Dubai based COP 28.
And while he never asks for acknowledgement, I want to pay tribute to Green Party leader Eamon Ryan, who was seen by our EU partners as being the right person to help negotiate an agreement against a backdrop of strong opposition and lobbying.
And now, for the first time in 30 years we have language in the COP text which identifies and addresses fossil fuel as the source of climate breakdown.
This represents a strong and united message from all countries, that we have to move away from fossil fuels.
Progress was made on a number of levels including on global solidarity with small island states, many of whom are already experiencing catastrophic impacts of climate change.
Progress was made also on ensuring a new renewable future and climate finance. What we are going to see, following this agreement, is an entirely new global financial architecture which shifts financial flows and investment away from polluting fossil fuels to new clean energy, particularly in the developing world. This is climate justice.
I quote Minister Ryan when I say ‘The Paris agreement is stronger today than it was yesterday.’
At a local level around Ireland, all Local Authorities, including in my own region of the Midlands, are finalising Climate Action Plans in line with national policy. Climate knows no borders and this COP agreement aligns our local and national efforts to the direction of travel, globally. I believe we are all heading to a new, renewable, efficient and more just future. And I believe, if we choose to see the opportunities, we will all have a brighter future.