The Taoiseach has said the presence of so many leaders at the UN's COP26 conference is evidence of a growing momentum around the need to address climate change.

Micheál Martin said there was a need for action to match rhetoric and that he sensed growing momentum around that too.

This was happening in Ireland already, he said, referring to the Climate Action Bill.

He rejected the suggestion that Ireland's own record on climate action rendered some of the Government's rhetoric "hollow".

He said: "I think there's been a step change since the new Government was brought in.

"We've increased significantly the ambition.

"There will be challenges in implementing that. They don't ring hollow."

However, Mr Martin was unclear whether Ireland would be reducing methane emissions by 30% in the next decade, in line with agreed EU targets.

He said: "We do support that pledge. And we'll be signing that. That's a global pledge.

"It's a global pledge. It's not a country-specific pledge, in the sense that we will develop our Climate Action Plan which will give our specifics in respect to the sector.

"The specific manifestation of that in each country may differ because different countries have different challenges in that respect, or produce methane at different levels in different sectors."

He told reporters in Glasgow that it would not be economically sustainable to keep going as we are going.

"I think economically we have to do what we're doing," he said.

"Because it would not be economically sustainable to carry on the way we are carrying on nationally or globally, because the severe weather events that are happening are very disruptive."

He said the Paris Agreement sparked significant change, and he welcomed what he described as America "back embracing Paris".

The Taoiseach said public pressure and the protests organised by young people have been very important.

Asked about the contributions different sectors will make, in terms of cutting emissions, Mr Martin said different sectors will have to go further than others.

He said he believes there has been a "step change "since his Government came into power.

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Ireland's Climate Action Plan is expected to be published later this week, ahead of a Cabinet meeting on Thursday. There will be a climate cabinet sub-committee held on Wednesday.

Mr Martin said Ireland spends around €93 million on climate finance for developing countries, and Government would seek to double that to at least €225m by 2025.

Mr Martin also spoke to US President Joe Biden in Glasgow this afternoon.

He said President Biden made it very clear that the United States takes the Good Friday Agreement "very seriously".

He said Mr Biden said it "matters greatly to me and the United States" and has made this clear to the UK government.

Mr Martin said he believes the collective views of "all of us" are to keep the Good Friday Agreement intact, and that in his view, the Commission has come a long way in respect of the Protocol and has listened to the people of Northern Ireland.

"Where there's a will, there's a way," the Taoiseach said.

"And I will be saying to [British Prime Minister] Boris Johnson that I think 'the will' now needs to happen and we need to get on with it."