Climate Change Agreement A Result For Everyone Says Durkan

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan welcomed the international agreement announced at the climate change conference in Paris today.

dn_screenFor the first time almost 200 countries representing around 90% of all global greenhouse gas emissions have signed an international agreement that will see countries pledging the necessary emission reductions that will limit global temperature rise to 2˚C or less.

Minister Durkan was part of the UK delegation at the climate change conference in Paris known as COP 21 where nearly 200 nations negotiated the global agreement. He said: “This global agreement is a result for everyone – our planet and our future generations. During my time in Paris I was encouraged by the willingness of everyone to engage in serious discussion on tackling climate change. This milestone agreement shows that this was not just talk – real actions have been agreed that will make a real difference.

“The international agreement alongside significant announcements from governments and businesses on actions and funding worth billions of pounds to support developing countries shows that Paris truly marks a turning point in tackling climate change and bringing climate justice to the poorest and most vulnerable groups and regions. But this does not mean we can rest on our laurels. We need to build on the momentum and ambition of this deal and strive towards reducing emissions even further.

“The impacts of climate change fall disproportionately on these vulnerable groups living in the poorest and less developed countries and yet these are the people who have done the least to cause climate change. During my time in Paris I met with organisations such as the Mary Robinson Foundation, Christian Aid, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Foundation for Environmental Education.

“These are the organisations that have firsthand experience of the real life effects of climate change on people across the world. They have witnessed the drought in Kenya and the displacement of its people, the death and destruction caused by increasing numbers of typhoons in the Philippines, and the negative impacts of climate change on agriculture and fishing industries in the poorest parts of the world. This agreement today is a real result for them and I know they will keep campaigning to get countries to where they need to be – limiting global temperature rise to less than 1.5C.

 “I also met Ministers from across the UK and Ireland which provided the opportunity to exchange views on the impacts of climate change within our local areas and share our experiences in taking action to mitigate and adapt to climate change. It was particularly useful getting an insight into the lessons learned in their use of climate change legislation.

“This has all made me even more determined than ever to take back the clear message from Paris of what can be achieved when we work together, when we show leadership, and when we recognise that there is a role for each and every one of us in tackling climate change and protecting our common home,”  added Minister Durkan.