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Ireland "must step up" as climate talks begin in Copenhagen

7 Dec 2009

Rich countries must offer more substantial cuts in emissions to secure fair deal

Friends of the Earth has called for a "step change" in Irish climate change policy as UN negotiations to agree a global deal open in Copenhagen. Hopes of a deal being done have risen now that Obama has rescheduled to be in Copenhagen on the last day of the summit. But, according to the environmental justice organisation, without more substantial cuts in emissions from developed countries the chances of achieving a just and effective agreement are slim.

Molly Walsh, who is in Copenhagen for Friends of the Earth Ireland, said

"Developed countries such as the US and those of us in the EU are responsible for the vast majority of the greenhouse gases currently in the atmosphere. We need to start putting adequate targets on the table and committing to the urgent cuts in emissions that are required to prevent catastrophic climate change."

The Friends of the Earth policy officer took the low carbon route to Copenhagen overland, to be there for the start of the talks this morning. Molly will be blogging from Copenhagen where she will follow the negotiations for the next two weeks.

Commenting on Ireland's role Friends of the Earth Director, Oisin Coghlan, said

"It's time for Ireland to finally step up on climate change. Minister Gormley has promised to outline the Government's climate change law in the Carbon Budget later this week, before he heads to Copenhagen. The biggest contribution Ireland can make to the international negotiations is to publish a strong draft law that commits us to urgently decarbonizing our economy."

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