Ireland won’t lecture US on climate obligations, says Donohoe

Paschal Donohoe was speaking as US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen arrived in Dublin for a series of engagements.
Ireland won’t lecture US on climate obligations, says Donohoe

By Dominic McGrath, PA

Paschal Donohoe has said he will not pressure the US to do more to tackle climate change.

The Minister for Finance was speaking as US treasury secretary Janet Yellen arrived in Dublin for a series of engagements, including a meeting with Mr Donohoe.

World leaders are also meeting at the Cop26 climate change conference in Glasgow.

 

Mr Donohoe praised the close relationship between Ireland and Joe Biden’s administration, but played down any suggestion he might ask the US to do more to reduce carbon emissions.

“I’ll be reviewing where we are in Ireland with regards to how we want to reduce our carbon emissions. And I think when we all need to do so much together, I think we should shy away really from making lectures or describing difficulties that other countries may have,” he said on Monday.

“President Biden and secretary Yellen are very much aware of the obligation that the United States has to reduce its carbon emissions, as I am as a member of the Irish Government for Ireland.

“And I think we’ll be focusing on what we can do together and acknowledging the great difficulty that there are at times in executing what we want to do.”

Paschal Donohoe
Paschal Donohoe (Brian Lawless/PA)

Mr Donohoe said he will not be among the Irish ministers attending Cop26.

“The Finance Bill for the Budget is beginning this week. That Finance Bill includes measures to increase carbon taxation.

“I believe these are the kinds of concrete and practical contributions we can make here in Ireland to how we do better from a carbon point of view, and the Government will be represented by a range of other members of Government during that time,” he told RTÉ radio.

“The breadth of Government ministers that are attending speaks to the importance that we place on what is happening in Glasgow. I need to bring in our budgetary legislation this week into the Dáil, and given the fact that carbon taxation is a very important element of that I think my time is best spent doing that.”

Mr Donohoe was asked whether he regretted overseeing the expansion of Ireland’s dairy herd.

“If I look back on the last decade, and the many challenges that we have had and faced, the expansion of our dairy herd would not be one of the things that is a cause for the greatest anxiety for me, given all that we’ve gone through over the decades,” he said.

He declined to comment on the expectation that agriculture may be asked to cut emissions by between 20%-30% over the next decade, as part of Ireland’s climate targets.

“It is the case that we will be asking our farmers to play a role, and an important role, in how we reduce our emissions. But we will be asking everybody to do that. And we’re particularly conscious of the needs and challenges that coupled with Irish farming,” he said.

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