Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he is inspired by young people battling climate change because they are forcing the issue to the top of the political agenda.

His comments came as 157 teenagers from all over the country took part in the RTÉ Youth Assembly on Climate in the Dáil.

Mr Varadkar lauded young people for leading the way on climate action.

"They’re the ones who understand the science. They're the ones who get it. And, they are the ones who are demanding action from adults and politicians and from people in power and influence in politics and business and society," he said.

"I have been really inspired by the extent to which young people have taken this issue on and forced all of us to put it very near the top of our agenda," the Taoiseach added.

The Youth Assembly published recommendations on tackling climate change and presented them to Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl

You always need to see these things in the round

The Taoiseach confirmed that both he and Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, Richard Bruton, will meet the Ceann Comhairle and a delegation from the youth assembly over coming weeks to assess the recommendations.

However, Mr Varadkar stressed climate action cannot be looked at in isolation and needed to take in to account other factors including housing and impacts on employment.

"You always need to see these things in the round," he said.

"Sometimes what happens when you look at things in isolation is people don’t always look at what the other consequences are," he added.

The Taoiseach said climate action needs to be poverty proofed and that "we don't as a result of climate action increase poverty or unemployment".

He added: "We need to bear in mind the impact on rural areas and rural communities in particular who have particular concerns."

Ireland is a good example of positive youth involvement in politics. So, let's have more of it

He said housing - which also comprises roads and concrete – would "involve things that are not necessarily good for the environment".

"But would anyone seriously argue that we don’t need more housing? We do. We’ll look at the recommendations. We’ll look at them in the round as well," the Taoiseach added.

Mr Varadkar said in the past young people were labelled as "apathetic" and "not interested in politics".

However in Ireland, he said, young people are "increasingly interested in politics" stressing the influence they had in bringing about "transformation change" about in recent referendums on marriage equality and the Eighth Amendment.

"I really feel that young people had a huge influence in bringing about that change," he said.

"Not only them demanding change but them also talking to their parents and grandparents about it.

"Ireland is a good example of positive youth involvement in politics. So, let’s have more of it," he said.