Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs Brendan Smith TD has welcomed the appointment of the former President of Ireland Mary Robinson as UN Special Envoy for Climate Change.
Deputy Smith has said: “Mary Robinson has huge passion and commitment to tackling climate change and has spent many years trying to drive real reform on this issue internationally. Fianna Fáil wishes Ms Robinson well in her new role and is urging the Government to take a leadership role within the European Union in addressing climate change.
“We are committed to an ambitious environmental programme which includes tackling climate change and published the Climate Change Response Bill in 2010 which sets out our commitment to legislating for a process that allows us to plan for greenhouse emissions reduction and adaptation to climate change. Fianna Fáil believes this must be done in a way that safeguards economic development and competitiveness. The legislation had an ambitious framework of targets up to 2050 which unfortunately this Government reneged on.
“The implementation of policies to tackle climate change must ensure the safeguarding of sustainable food production systems, which are vitally important in the fight against hunger and malnutrition.
“Ireland should be consistent with EU targets and we have consistently supported the international process under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. A major change in our approach to climate change policy is a new national priority on carbon transition. We are no longer solely focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. While they are important indicators of progress, we must also have a longer term and wider vision for creating a prosperous, sustainable Ireland.
“I welcome the focus UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon has brought to the issue of climate change. There will be a lot of work for Mary Robinson to take on early given that there is a high-level climate summit in New York in late-September but I know she will bring a new focus to the role for determined and meaningful action on a global level.”