Eamon Ryan will travel to Cop26 after second Covid test is negative

Ministers return to Glasgow to iron outcontentious issues

in Glasgow

Minister for Climate Eamon Ryan is to travel to Cop26 as a follow-up Covid test has confirmed he is not infected with the virus.

Following his initial positive test on Saturday, Mr Ryan received notification from the Health Service Executive that a second test was recommended.

“This result of this test showed Covid-19 was not detected. The public health advice in this instance is that the case is denotified,” a spokesman for the Minister said.


He now plans to travel to Glasgow on Monday and will lead the Irish delegation at the summit.

Mr Ryan has not been symptomatic at any point. He underwent the initial test as a precautionary measure as recommended by Cop26 organisers.

Meanwhile, British prime minister Boris Johnson has underlined the need for greater progress as ministers return to Glasgow and join negotiators in attempting to forge agreement on the most contentious issues at Cop26.

‘Bold compromises’

They should “pull together and drive for the line” to secure ambitious action on climate change, he said.

Countries must be ready to “make the bold compromises and ambitious commitments needed” at the final week of the summit, Mr Johnson added.

Talks will centre mostly around what is needed to limit average global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees.

Contentious parts of the 2015 Paris Agreement also need finalising, including markets for trading carbon emissions, transparency over what countries are doing, and common timeframes for action under article six of the accord.

Discussions are continuing on negotiations on finance for poor countries to adapt to a changing climate as well as on a “cover decision” pledge from the summit. This will set out how countries will close the gap between the action to cut emissions they have pledged and what is needed to avoid dangerous temperature rises of more than 1.5 degrees.

‘Matter of trust’

Cop26 chair Alok Sharma insisted on Saturday that progress so far is significant with 90 per cent of the world economies committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2030.

He predicted more than $500 million would be secured for developing countries under climate finance between 2021-2025, which he acknowledged was “totemic and a matter of trust”.

Ireland’s national climate delegation will continue its efforts to secure meaningful progress at Cop26 through it membership of the EU, Mr Ryan said on Saturday, but also as a new signatory to the high ambition coalition, which works to ensure delivery of ambitious nationally determined contributions – notably countries’ targets for emission reductions.

At the weekend, chairwoman of the Elders and former president Mary Robinson said the climate crisis was also a health emergency in which women and girls were most vulnerable.

Kevin O'Sullivan

Kevin O'Sullivan

Kevin O'Sullivan is Environment and Science Editor and former editor of The Irish Times

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times