Paris climate change agreement

 

Sir, – Transferring the impressive ambition of Paris to action is a gargantuan task, even though a temperature increase of just 1.5 Celsius beyond pre-industrial levels will still lead to appalling human suffering and damage to the world’s resources and ecosystems.

Climate change and the environment have appeared only occasionally at the top of the political agenda, with the usual fob-off when times are good that we need to grow the economy, and when times are bad that we will get to the environment when times are good.

We need a completely new global approach.

We need a new energy system devoid of fossil fuels, we need land management with the dual ambition of providing food and storing carbon, we need a new world trading system that puts climate and environment at its centre, and we need vested interests, governments, regional groupings and global institutions to cast away entrenched positions and always put climate first. And we need them to do so now so that we can move to a new world economy.

The Kyoto Protocol was agreed in 1997. But to drive from Paris to the next great destination, we don’t have the luxury of 18 years.

So progress on every action promised in Paris must come under permanent scrutiny in the full realisation that its ambition, though great, is still insufficient. – Yours, etc,

MICHAEL HAMELL,

Courtlands,

Dublin 9.