Cop26: Action not rhetoric needed to tackle 'existential crisis' of climate change, warns Martin

Taoiseach Micheál Martin is in Glasgow attending the UN's Cop26 event.
Cop26: Action not rhetoric needed to tackle 'existential crisis' of climate change, warns Martin

The issue of climate change is even more pressing than Brexit or the Covid-19 pandemic Taoiseach Micheál Martin has warned as he attends the United Nations' Cop26 climate change conference, which continues in Glasgow today.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner, Mr Martin said climate change is "without question" the most serious challenge of our lifetime and must be tackled with action instead of rhetoric.

"It is once in a hundred years that you face a pandemic, but I'm convinced that climate change is an existential crisis," Mr Martin said ahead of Monday's roundtable discussion with government leaders from around the world.

"I worry for our younger generations, for children yet to be born, what kind of planet they will be born into if there are very severe weather events, such as droughts and floods," he added.

The Taoiseach said Cop26 must be a "seminal event" in the fight against climate change, adding: "Fundamentally, it's about translating rhetoric into action."

While Mr Martin conceded that some commitments "may fall short of what people want", he believes there will be "a very positive momentum coming out of Cop26".

He added that climate finance will be a significant area of discussion in the coming days, with Ireland doubling its commitment to support developing countries in cutting their carbon emissions and adapting their economies towards environmental sustainability.

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