Mary Robinson says Government needs to invest so 'going green' is more affordable

Some progress had been made at Cop26, she said, but some delegates had gone home “in despair” at the prospect of not meeting the 1.5 degrees target.
Mary Robinson says Government needs to invest so 'going green' is more affordable

Vivienne Clarke

Former President Mary Robinson has called on the Government to invest so that it will be more affordable for people to “go green.”

Speaking on RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland, Ms Robinson warned that if the 1.5 degrees climate target was not reached then people under the age of 30 would be in “a less livable” world with more floods, droughts and people having to leave their homes.

Some progress had been made at Cop26, she said, but some delegates had gone home “in despair” at the prospect of not meeting the 1.5 degrees target.

Agreements had been made on the phasing out of oil and gas, she said, with the Irish government agreeing to such a phasing out. There had also been a “big shift” in the financial sector.

It was important that the voices of the most vulnerable had been heard by “those at the top” The world was now in crisis mode, she added.

What happens locally from now on would make a difference, said Ms Robinson, who spoke of her pride in her home town of Ballina which organised a climate event last week to coincide with Cop26.

Ms Robinson, who is also Chair of The Elders, an independent group of global leaders working together for peace, justice and human rights, acknowledged that the fossil fuel lobby had been present at Cop26. Among them was Saudi Arabia which “always plays a very bad game at Cop”.

They had attempted to remove wording in relation to youth, human rights and just transition, she said.

Ms Robinson warned that some tax exemptions were “killing us” and that reducing subsidies could have huge consequences for some people. They needed to be carefully thought through.

Governments might have to invest to make it easier to go green, she said.

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