IPCC Synthesis Report underlines importance of the Government’s commitment to scaling and speeding up Ireland’s climate action

Statement from Minister Ryan

The stark report that has been released today by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) confirms that, with global warming having already reached 1.1°C above pre-industrial levels, climate change is causing widespread and increasingly-irreversible losses and damages. We have a rapidly-closing window of opportunity to maintain a liveable future for all.

Today’s Synthesis Report brings together the latest scientific evidence on climate change solutions — to inform policy-making at national and international levels.

The science clearly shows that the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions are fossil energy use; unsustainable land use and land-use change; and unstainable patterns of consumption and production. Effective international cooperation on targets and sectoral transformation is critical to reduce these emissions and to restrict global warming.

The IPCC has demonstrated that there are options for all sectors to significantly reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The increased use of renewable energy, improved energy efficiency and fuel switching have reduced global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions across global industry and across the energy sector. I look forward to working with our international partners, not just at the next annual UN climate conference (COP28) in Dubai later this year, but on an ongoing and continual basis.

Equity, rights-based approaches, and a just transition must also be essential to our actions. Ireland is committed to ensuring that, as we increase international finance to ensure developing countries can develop in a climate-friendly way, these funds are aligned with the Paris Agreement goals. These funds must be targeted to the most vulnerable countries and communities.

Climate Action Plan

Climate Action Plan 2023 sets out our response — as a country — to the climate crisis. This plan implements the carbon budgets and sectoral emissions ceilings. It sets out a roadmap for systemic change to reach our national climate objectives — to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions by 51% by 2030 and to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

Today’s report clearly reinforces the message that the time to act is now. This Government is doing so; passing one of the most ambitious climate laws in the world and mobilising the public and private sectors to deliver the emissions reductions required. Climate Action Plan 2023 sets out how Ireland can accelerate the actions that are needed to respond to this crisis, putting climate solutions at the centre of Ireland’s social and economic development.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the world’s most authoritative climate science body.

Today’s Synthesis Report integrates the three Working Group reports (physical science basis; impacts, adaptation and vulnerability; and, mitigation) as well as the findings from the three cross-Working Group Special Reports prepared during this assessment cycle: Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C (SR15, October 2018), Special Report on Climate Change and Land (SRCCL, August 2019), and Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC, September 2019).

The report finds that global warming has reached 1.1°C above pre-industrial levels and both climate system changes and their impacts are evident around the world including increased extremes such as heat waves. The rate of many changes in the climate system has increased, including sea level rise, ice melt, alongside large-scale biodiversity loss and negative impacts on human health and food systems.

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