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Remarks by the Taoiseach Michéal Martin, T.D. at the publication of the Climate Action Plan

Good afternoon.


This is an important moment. 


We have now published this Government’s Climate Action Plan.



This week the World’s attention has focused on climate action and I was pleased at COP26 to have the opportunity to voice Ireland’s support for global efforts to tackle climate change, and to outline our plans.


As I said in Glasgow, the scale of the challenge is unprecedented, but it is not too late to act.


It is now crystal clear that we need to dramatically reduce the amount of greenhouse gases we are putting into the atmosphere, to have hope of limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees, keep our ecosystems functioning and ensure that our Planet is safe and liveable for generations to come.


While it is a global challenge, we need look no further than home to see the effects of climate change and understand the devastating impact more frequent storms and flooding would bring. This would have a massive negative economic impact on Ireland.


We will of course debate the various elements of our plan, but on the requirement for urgent action, there is no debate.  Failure to act now is not an option.


I recognise that the transition to climate neutrality no later than 2050 will require a profound change in the practices and sectors that support our lifestyle. Our homes, workplaces, communities must all adapt but the benefits to all of us and future generations are clear.


In terms of our public health and our overall quality of life, the plan we are publishing today has the potential to be transformational.


For some it will be difficult, but the simple truth is that if we delay any further we will face greater costs and be able to seize fewer opportunities.


Climate Action Plan


This Plan contains the commitments we made in the Programme for Government and it will fundamentally alter Ireland’s approach to climate change. 


Our new climate legislation, carbon budget and annual climate action plans provide for clear targets, actions and accountability.


Our new National Climate Objective requires the State to pursue and achieve, by no later than the end of the year 2050, the transition to a climate resilient, biodiversity rich, environmentally sustainable and climate neutral economy.


This puts climate action at the heart of all of Government’s plans and policies over the next decade and beyond.


The Programme for Government and this Plan recognise that some regions and sectors will be more affected than others.  That is why we will provide significant and practical support to enable a Just Transition.



This government is determined to deliver change and this is why there is a very significant focus within this Plan on delivery, ensuring we implement the policies, legislation and investments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.




Yes, it will be challenging but for the sake of our children and for the generations to come, we must confront the reality we now face. 


The time to step up is now, and we all must have the collective courage to do so.


Acting now, and with purpose, will enable us seize the many opportunities that arise from the transformation that is required.


It will enable us to create new jobs in enterprises and  develop new sectors that can compete and thrive in a decarbonised world.


We will live up to the responsibility that we have to our children and to those not yet born.


We will have warmer homes, cleaner water, cleaner air to breathe and a country where people are more connected to each other and more connected to our natural environment.


We will do everything that we can to ensure that Ireland takes its place at the forefront of the global effort to get our planet back on a sustainable path.


We will do the right thing.


Go raibh maith agaibh.