On 6 December 2015, an historic consensus agreement was reached by almost 200 countries concerning the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the improvement of adaptability to the negative impact of climate change, and a series of other targets to manage the effects of global warming. Known as the Paris Agreement, it took place in the French capital and was organised by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Agreeing to temperature limits and CO₂ emission reductions were only the first steps however, and one year on Ireland has fallen behind in the implementation of these goals, with all indicators showing it will fail to reach its 2020 targets. In a world gradually warming to the notions of environmental responsibility and the pursuit of less waste and cleaner energy, Ireland still has many more steps to take to become a pioneering member of the global community in the face of climate change.
In marking the first anniversary of this Paris Agreement, Catherine Devitt, Environmental Justice Officer with the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, Ireland, assesses what has been done so far and how best to go about doing more, in an interview with Pat Coyle, Director of Irish Jesuit Communications.