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Greater Ambition on Climate Action Needed at COP28

Former President of Ireland Mary Robinson called for greater ambition on climate action at a major climate conference at University College Cork (UCC) ahead of COP28. The call comes as one of Ireland’s leading energy experts warns that Ireland is not on track to meet carbon budget targets.

World leaders will need to show greater ambition in phasing out the use fossil fuels at COP28 if there is any hope in limiting global warming increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2023, former President of Ireland Mary Robinson warned. Almost 90% of energy used in Ireland is provided by the combustion of fossil fuels.

Speaking ahead of her appearance at the Sustainable Futures Forum at UCC, Robinson said that climate justice that puts people first and creates fair outcomes for all must be central to the discussions, saying, “at COP28, we need to drive greater ambition on climate action among world leaders and governments. This is extremely important in order to keep 1.5 alive. For this, we need to phase out fossil fuels and scale up clean energy.”

“It is extremely important to put people first and create outcomes that are fair for those who are on the front lines of climate impacts. We need to prioritise climate justice and unlock finance in order to ensure a sustainable, just and equitable future that does not leave anyone behind. Ahead of COP28, I look forward to discussing these important issues at the Sustainable Futures Forum at University College Cork.”

Robinson was the keynote guest at the Sustainable Futures Forum, which took place in UCC’s Glucksman Gallery. RTÉ presenter Miriam O’Callaghan was the MC at the event, which examined some of the key challenges facing Ireland as it seeks to meet ambitious targets set out in its Climate Action Plan.

Dr Marguerite Nyhan is Chair of the Sustainable Futures Forum, Associate Professor at UCC and Research Affiliate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She said Mrs Robinson is a groundbreaking leader who helped to shape modern Ireland, and a champion for climate justice and human rights worldwide.

Dr Nyhan said, “ahead of COP28, we look forward to welcoming Mrs Robinson to UCC to discuss the important issues of climate justice, loss and damage, and how to achieve a fair and just future for all.”

“We are currently in the midst of a climate and nature crises, and universities are an important convening point for constructive dialogue on the complexities of addressing our shared climate and sustainability challenges. It is hoped that COP28 will ensure that the goal of limiting long-term global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius remains achievable. This was agreed by almost 200 countries as part of the Paris Accord. We know from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that this target is necessary to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. However, the United Nations Environment Programme in their latest “emissions gap” report, has warned that we are on track for a 2.5 to 2.9 degrees Celsius world.”

Source: University College Cork

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