International expert analysis has deemed Ireland the worst country in the European Union on climate action for the second year in a row.

The Climate Change Performance Index is produced annually on the basis of joint analysis by two organisations; Germanwatch and the NewClimate Institute.

This year's report places Ireland 48th out of 56 countries worldwide, up one place from last year.

The findings were published at the UN Climate Conference in Katowice in Poland this morning.

The index puts Ireland’s performance in the Greenhouse Gas Emissions category as very low, and the country is also among the low ranking performers in the Energy Use category.

However, the Government was commended for passing the Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill and for the Citizens’ Assembly process, which produced far-reaching recommendations for climate action.

Ireland’s performance on international climate policy is rated medium, but the experts warned that "existing climate mitigation efforts will not enable Ireland to achieve either its EU 2020 or 2030 targets domestically".

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Minister of Communications, Climate and Environment Richard Bruton said that he has already highlighted the fact that Ireland is far off course in its response to climate change.

Since being appointed minister in October, he said he has secured Government approval to develop an all-of-Government plan to make Ireland a leader in responding to climate change.

He said this plan will have actions across all sections of society and will have timelines with clear lines of responsibility.

Mr Bruton said that today's report reinforces the urgency of this work.