DÓCHAS PRESS STATEMENT: Climate Change is the greatest public interest story of our time

30 november 2015

The Climate Conference in Paris, beginning today, will determine the future of people and planet for generations to come

Decisions made at the Paris Climate Conference will have repercussions for people all over the world. The conference, beginning today (Monday 30th November) presents a unique opportunity for the world. If successful, this could be the generation to end extreme poverty and tackle climate chaos.

In order for this to happen, Ireland must play its part. Irish leaders and representatives at the Paris Climate Conference (COP21) must champion a binding and universal international agreement. The agreement should set legally binding and ambitious targets for countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and tackle climate change.

Climate change disproportionately affects the world’s poorest populations. Therefore it is essential that any agreement reached in Paris is grounded in human rights and that sufficient financial assistance is provided to developing countries to combat climate change. Climate Change is already having a very real impact on communities around the world, with rising sea levels, extreme weather, drought, and a lack of resources and arable land pushing people further into poverty. NGOs work to support vulnerable communities impacted by the effects of climate change.

The refugee crisis in recent times has been the biggest humanitarian disaster since the Second World War. Though there are many variables in this crisis, climate change is one of the root causes which affects mass migration and this must be addressed. 

Earlier this year world leaders reached agreement on the Sustainable Development Goals which aim to eradicate extreme poverty and tackle climate chaos by the year 2030. Ireland proved itself as a capable world leader in this respect, acting as co-facilitator to achieve this momentous global agreement. However, a binding agreement in Paris will prove crucial to the success of achieving this aim. 

Speaking ahead of COP21 Sharan Kelly, CEO of Tearfund and Chairperson of Dóchas said, “The Climate Conference in Paris presents a unique opportunity for the world. This is a milestone moment and Ireland must play its part in the fight for climate justice. In order to protect the world’s poorest populations and to ensure a sustainable future for all, decisive and committed action is needed. It is fair to say that this is one of the greatest public interest stories of our time. The outcome matters to all of us.”


[ENDS]

Media Contact

To arrange interviews or for more information contact: Naomi Linehan, Media Officer for Dóchas and the European Year for Development: 01 405 3801/ 086 1077079

Notes to the Editor

·         Dóchas is the Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations. It provides a forum for consultation and cooperation between its members, and a platform for them to speak with a single voice on development issues. For more information, visit: www.dochas.ie

·         Dóchas membership is comprised of 65 overseas development and global justice organisations. A list of Dóchas members can be found at http://www.dochas.ie/membership/our-members/

·         A number of representatives from Irish NGOs will travel to Paris to represent the development sector at the Paris Climate Conference.