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GOAL urges leaders to act at COP26 climate conference before crises increase


October 29, 2021 • 2 min read

Ireland should build on lessons learned from the Covid-19 response and push for increased action at home and abroad, according to GOAL.

Speaking ahead of the landmark UN global climate ‘Conference of Parties’ (COP26), which takes place in Glasgow next week, GOAL Deputy CEO and Director of External Affairs, Mary Van Lieshout, sees COP26 as an opportunity for the global community to adopt a cohesive approach to climate in light of the global response to Covid-19.

“Through our work with vulnerable communities around the world, we have seen climate change multiply the threat of humanitarian crises, degrade global health, threaten food security and have a major impact on economies, livelihoods and gender equality. Like another recent global crisis, the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change will impact everyone, everywhere. We must act as one global community.”

Ms Van Lieshout welcomes Ireland’s recent focus on climate in the National Development Plan as a good starting point but believes Ireland should go further and also be doing more at an international level.

“The Covid-19 response and recovery plans should provide inspiration to integrate climate objectives and Sustainable Development targets. We have to put the health and sustainability of the planet and its most vulnerable people, who suffer the impact of climate change the most, at centre stage.  Decisions made at COP26 have the potential to change the course of our world, which is currently going towards increased incidences of disaster and poverty. Crises are certain to increase if we don’t act now.”

GOAL has published a Climate Crisis Discussion Paper which makes a series of recommendations to the Irish Government and international community, to address the mounting challenge.

The Paper recommends that:

  • Ireland reduces polluting emissions in accordance with Paris Agreement commitments.
  • Ireland increases its annual climate finance contributions to help vulnerable countries cope with the effects of the climate crisis.
  • Ireland supports increasing action at EU level to ensure EU climate targets are increased to 65%, in accordance with the Paris Agreement commitments, by 2030.
  • Governments use the Covid-19 recovery to take collective action for food systems that are more equitable, resilient, sustainable
  • Ireland and all donors continue to protect the most marginalised and vulnerable girls and young women

The full Climate Discussion paper can be seen here: