A climate deal with the aim of reducing climate change and pursuing efforts to limit global temperature increases to below 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels has been reached at the COP21 Summit in Paris. The discussions reached their objective to achieve for the first time a global agreement on reduction of climate change.

The Paris Agreement on climate change has no immediate implications for Ireland’s agri-food sector. However, the Agreement does have an acknowledgement that safeguarding food security and ending hunger are a fundamental priority. Also, the higher emissions targets could mean a new regime of carbon taxes or levies on agriculture and the agri-food sector, which accounts for a third of Ireland’s greenhouse gases.

The deal has been largely welcomed due to the addition of the longer-term goals, including a move to:

  • emissions neutrality by later this century;
  • better transparency;
  • climate financing of $100 billion a year to 2020 for poorer countries; and
  • five-year reviews.

The Agreement will become legally binding when at least 55 countries that represent at least 55% of global greenhouse emissions become a party to it. The agreement will need to be signed by relevant parties in New York between 22 April 2016 and 21 April 2017 and additionally adopted within the various States own legal systems.