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Paris climate deal presents both opportunities and challenges

The historic climate deal agreed in Paris represents an opportunity for world leaders and nations to act decisively to limit the impacts of climate change.

The agreement itself is not a solution to climate change, nor does it provide the full details of how people will be protected from the impacts of climate change, particularly those in developing countries.

The focus on financial support for developing countries impacted by climate change in the text is a positive.  However the absence of human rights protection and climate justice from the agreement and the absence of specific details as to how the long-term goals of reducing emission is going to be met is a weakness. 

The process with regards to how global warming will be limited is not yet agreed.  It is now the responsibility of all countries to set themselves on the right path to meet the targets set out in the Paris Agreement.  Ireland has significant work to do in this regard and must immediately target meeting its commitments under the EU emission reduction targets by 2020.  An action plan detailing how Ireland will meet its global targets both under EU and UN commitments should be published in 2016.

The full text is available here.