Actions to more rapidly decarbonise world set out in Dublin climate declaration

Document handed over to UK government in bid to increase ambitions for COP26 summit

The Dublin Climate Dialogues has called for an immediate end to investment in fossil fuels in an attempt to help accelerate global actions to address the climate crisis.

The Dublin Declaration also calls for a global commitment to phasing out coal power generation by 2025; a quadrupling of installed renewable energy every year over the coming decade and rapid electrification of the global economy.

It puts “just transition at its core, recognising the need of the poorest and most vulnerable” and calls for strong public policy, support for developing countries in making the investments they require to embrace renewable energy and measures “to incentivise a shift from carbon technology”.

The document was produced following the convening of the Dublin Climate Dialogues, a two-day virtual conference. It sought to prompt greater climate ambitions at the critical UN COP26 summit in Glasgow in November, which is being hosted by the UK government.


“Globally, nationally, locally, corporately, collectively, and individually it is not too late to choose,” the declaration states. “We each have a voice, a duty of care to act and a moral responsibility to make our world a better place to hand on to our children and future generations.”

‘Grave risks’

COP26 requires global leaders, it notes, "to make their policy ambitions commensurate with and reflective of the promised aim of limiting global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees, and given the grave risks, to strive for 1.5 degrees". The call was endorsed by US climate envoy John Kerry in his address to participants at the conference, hosted by University College Dublin.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney welcomed the thrust of the declaration before it was handed over to the UK government representative and COP26 envoy John Murton in a virtual exchange.

The breadth of contributions “remind us again that climate change has implications across all aspects of our society as well as our financial, economic and political systems”, Mr Coveney said.

He highlighted the daily challenges and fears of climate change in vulnerable countries including small island states.

“This is why the transition must be a just one,” he said.

The dialogues had underlined that effective action could only be achieved through partnership, Mr Coveney said.

Collective wisdom

He said the declaration reflected the collective wisdom of participants and provided “commendable and robust ideas, and are worthy of our consideration and action”.

The technology for a green transition was available and political momentum was building “as we move to what will be a defining COP26”, the Minister said.

“We need every country to find a way to meet this moment,” he added, wishing to echo the words of Mr Kerry, who said “we can do this... but all of us will have to do much more”.

“The Dublin dialogues show that we face a huge test; let’s get to action now,” Mr Coveney said.

Dialogues chair Pat Cox said the declaration "does not purport to represent the official position of any governmental or non-governmental participants or their organisations", but accurately reflects the views of participants including representatives of major carbon emitting countries – the US, the EU, China and Japan – who account for 58 per cent of global emissions.

‘Drastic urgency’

It came with the message that the world has to immediately face up to “the drastic urgency of dealing with climate change” underpinned by climate justice, he added. This required admitting “real delivery did not happen since Paris” - a reference to landmark climate agreement signed by 197 countries in 2015.

“To succeed, collaborative engagement at every level of governance, public and private, has to be at the heart of this transformative transition,” he added.

Speaking at the handover, Mr Cox said COP26 “is truly a date with destiny, globally and locally. The stakes are too high to contemplate anything other than a firm collective resolve to act with a sense of urgency and acceleration”.

To ensure all this was possible on time the financial world had to face to big issues around “climate risk”, he believed. There was enough capital and indications of enough projects to decarbonise the world through electrification but “risk factors are holding up capital flows”.

The declaration seeks a commitment for the rapid introduction of global reporting and accounting measures “to best reflect the potential impact of climate risks to countries, communities, and companies.

“This includes stress-testing national and international Institutions on their response to systemic shocks to global and regional markets caused by increasingly significant climate damage,” it says.

The document seeks elimination of fossil-fuel subsidies in every country no later than 2025 and a commitment “to enable cross-border solutions including putting a strong price on carbon”.

Kevin O'Sullivan

Kevin O'Sullivan

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