“Securing cabinet approval today, which will allow me to proceed to seek Dáil Éireann approval, is a significant step and a strong signal to the people of Ireland and to the international community of our continued support for the Paris Agreement,” said Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten. “It is our children’s future and of vital national interest.”

The Dáil must ratify international treaties under the Constitution.

Minister Naughten is hoping to secure the ratification in time for the next conference of parties to the UN convention on climate change, COP22, which will be held in Marrakesh from 7 to 18 November.

On 5 October, ratifications met the threshold of 55 countries representing 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions, which means the Paris agreement will enter into force 30 days later, on 4 November 2016.

Proposed targets

The European Commission has already translated it into proposed targets for each country between 2020 and 2030.

Under the proposal, Ireland would have to cut emissions from sectors of its economy outside the Emissions Trading System, including agriculture, by 30% compared with 2005 levels, in line with the EU average. The Irish target is associated with some of the highest flexibility allowed to EU member states in terms of offsetting emissions with carbon sequestration through activities such as forestry or improved grassland management.

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