As part of RTÉ Weather Week, RTÉ Radio One's Today With Sean O’Rourke show heard from Professor John Sweeney from Maynooth University and Cormac Ó Raifeartaigh from Waterford Institute of Technology about the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn and "the defining issue of the 21st century"
"The purpose of this particular talk is simply to establish the ground rules of how the pledges made by various countries will conform with each other", explained Professor Sweeney. "What is the starting point, what are the actual aspirations versus realities that they’re going to deliver on, and I think what is coming out of this particular talk is, first of all, a feeling of urgency. We can’t wait until 2020 when the Paris agreement becomes operative. If we do, we have lost so much time that actually achieving the aims of Paris will become extremely difficult.
"Ireland is in a funny position. We’re rather like the United States in terms of transport. We have very, very little outside of Dublin. Transport is people in their cars. That means automatically that we have quite serious emissions from transport. We’re also an agricultural dependent country, we have a very large agricultural sector and that means a lot of emissions from agriculture so you can see immediately in one way how we would need people to take that into account."
Hear the full discussion below