Minister Kelly In Rome For Audience With Pope Francis

Minister Alan Kelly T.D., will today (16 September, 2015) join other EU Environment and Climate Ministers as well as Environment Commissioner Vella and Climate Commissioner Arias Cañete, in an audience with His Holiness Pope Francis at the Vatican.


The meeting comes as UN negotiations towards a new global climate deal enter their final phase.  Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change will gather in Paris at the end of November with a view to concluding negotiations on a new legally binding climate agreement aimed at setting the world on a path to avoid dangerous climate change and pursue more sustainable, low-carbon, climate resilient economies and societies.  


The Pope’s recent second encyclical letter “Laudato si’ – On care for our common home” dealt with a wide range of themes linking sustainable development and the fight against poverty, including irresponsible development, environmental degradation and climate change.  


Minister Kelly acknowledged the Papal encyclical as a moral call to action by all actors, states and individuals alike according to their abilities in addressing this common threat to humanity and our future wellbeing.  Ireland strongly supports an ambitious, legally-binding global agreement with broad participation as a core outcome of the Paris Conference and, as part of the EU, is committed to playing its part in reaching that historic agreement.   


The EU is a key player in the negotiations for a robust legally binding agreement that will enable all countries and all actors to participate in the fight against climate change.    The Environment Council will, on Friday 18 September, agree its conclusions setting out the key EU position for the final leg of the negotiations.


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