The Taoiseach has told world leaders at the COP27 climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt that Ireland will do everything in its power to ensure a sustainable planet.

Delivering Ireland's national climate statement this afternoon, he said climate change is fueling conflict, global instability, competition for resources and abject human misery.

"If this generation doesn't step up urgently, future generations will not forgive us.

"As leaders, it is our responsibility to drive the transformation necessary," he said.

In the address, Mr Martin announced Ireland would donate €10m to the Global Shield initiative for 2023. The initiative is aimed at scaling up finance needed to protect against climate risks in poor countries.

He said that more needs to be done and warned that citizens will become increasingly cynical, weary and hopeless if words about climate action are not urgently matched by deeds, or if commitments to act do not generate new realities.

"Last year's UN projections showed emissions continuing to rise beyond 2030. This year, however, updated analysis shows them no longer rising after that date," he said.

"This is progress, even if it doesn’t go far enough".

The Taoiseach went on to strike a positive tone saying it is not "too late" to act, that the transition required will not be too costly, and that it not inevitable some people will be left behind.

Echoing comments by UN chief António Guterres on the world being on the "highway to hell", EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the world must earn the clean ticket to heaven instead.

In a separate statement, European Council President Charles Michel said that Russia had chosen to make energy "a weapon of mass destabilisation".

China's top climate envoy said that his country would not retreat from the fight against global warming, a day after Beijing and Washington were urged by Mr Guterres to boost efforts.

"Energy and food crises have hit the world one after another, and the climate action process is facing serious challenges," Xie Zhenhua said the COP27 climate summit in Egypt.

"China has been actively responding to climate change with sustained and pragmatic actions," he added.

Efforts to make progress against global warming were dealt a blow in August when China suspended climate cooperation with the US following House leader Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan.

China "hopes that developed countries will take the lead in effectively scaling up their emission reduction targets and achieving carbon neutrality ahead of time."

While China is the world's second biggest economy, the country has insisted that it cannot be put in the same category as developed countries, as it has had to lift tens of millions of people out of poverty.

Mr Guterres told leaders yesterday that progress on the issue of scaling up international climate finance contribution will be the litmus test of whether COP27 is a success or not.

During his leaders’ speech the Taoiseach also spoke about how the government is fully committed to doubling climate finance to €225 million euro by 2025.

"We will not see the change we need without climate justice" he said.

Mr Martin is on a two-day trip to Egypt, while Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan, Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney and Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora Colm Brophy is also attending the conference.

Back home, the Dáil heard that "more urgent action" is needed from the Government to address Ireland's high greenhouse gas emissions.

Labour leader Ivana Bacik said: "We've got missed targets, we've got rising emissions with low investment in critical infrastructure, huge delays in generation of offshore wind capacity.

"Ireland being the second highest emitter of greenhouse gases per head of population in the EU.. we need to see more urgent action."

Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath said that while it will not be easy to reach the targets, there is some hope, adding that some progress has been made.

"I believe that the Irish people will lead, that they will deliver on the commitments that we've entered into, and I can assure you, the house and the Irish people that the Government will not be found wanting," Mr McGrath added.

Earlier, Chair of the Elders and former President of Ireland Mary Robinson said the war in Ukraine broke a momentum that existed after COP26, because European countries have been forced to focus on how they can replace gas from Russia with gas from other sources.

Now is the moment for Europe to go "even faster" into clean energy, she said.

Mrs Robinson said the world is heading down the wrong road but this can change and real efforts to implement climate change policies have not yet been seen, adding a move away from "too much doom and gloom" and a positive narrative is needed.

She said she would attend the second week of COP27, because she wants to assess "all the talk of the leaders".

"We just don't have the political will. That's what I'll be calling out if governments don't do in commitments what they say. And that will be right across the board. The Elders are global.

"So we call out the United States if necessary, we call out Europe if necessary, but we also call out the ones who are supporting too much the fossil fuel lobby."

Mrs Robinson also said that countries such as China and India have done a lot to harness solar energies but the leaders from these countries are not at COP27.

However they will attend the G20, which is responsible for more money than COP, she added.

Mrs Robinson said the economies of developed countries were built on fossil fuels and these countries are now telling developing countries they should not do the same.

She said that it is important that Africa can use its gas, especially for clean cooking, but the case must be made that building a new infrastructure on oil and gas would not be a good idea.

It comes as leaders from poorer countries criticized wealthy governments and oil companies for driving global warming during today's speeches at COP27.

"The oil and gas industry continues to earn almost 3 billion United States dollars daily in profits," said Gaston Browne, Antigua's prime minister, speaking at the conference on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States.

"It is about time that these companies are made to pay a global carbon tax on their profits as a source of funding for loss and damage," he said.

"While they are profiting, the planet is burning."

Multi-billion-dollar oil industry profits since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which rattled markets and disrupted supplies, have angered governments worldwide concerned about climate change and rampant consumer inflation.

Mr Martin attended the working breakfast organised by the President of Ghana and the Chancellor of Germany.

After the meeting, he said: "It is one thing to witness climate disasters from afar, but it is only when you go up close and the Prime Minister of Pakistan and the President of Sri Lanka and others, lay out the utter devastation being inflicted on people that it really hits home.

"They are living with it now (climate change) and living with it at a level and scale that maybe we don't often appreciate until we get up close and talk to them about the impact on people, ecology, and food production".

Senegal's President Macky Sall told the conference poor developing countries in Africa needed increased funding from rich nations for adaptation, and would resist calls for an immediate shift away from fossil fuels African countries need to fuel their economies.

"Let's be clear, we are in favor of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. But we Africans cannot accept that our vital interests be ignored," he said.

Sri Lanka's President Ranil Wickremesinghe said Western governments were quick to divert billions of dollars to the war in Ukraine, but slow to spend on climate change.

Double standards are unacceptable.

"As many developed nations deem it fit to wait on their climate financing contributions, these countries were also on both sides of the Ukraine war and seemed to have no qualms spending for a war," he said.

Meanwhile, the chairperson of the Marine Eco-systems Protected Areas environmental group, which works with several Caribbean nations, said the impacts of climate change are being strongly felt.

Ruth Spencer, from Antigua and Barbuda, said "alternatives that work" must be found and new voices brought to the decision making process on climate action.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, she said that that one size will not fit all and peoples' ideas and solutions must be brought into the process.

Ms Spencer said that even on small islands the wrong decisions can be made and once a bad environmental decision is made, everybody suffers.

For the future generations and protections of our eco systems, we must speak out, she said.

"We have to be alarmist. We have to sound the alarm to the public that sometimes the decisions made for projects and activities will bring harm," Ms Spencer said.

Additional reporting by Reuters and PA