The Minister for Climate of Ireland, Eamon Ryan, announced at the COP28 climate conference in Dubai that the country is considering the development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies, Irish online newspaper The Journal reported.
However, he emphasized that such efforts should not serve as a pretext for expanding unsustainable fossil fuel use.
Ireland is ultimately “going to do carbon capture and storage” but “the real key question is you can’t use that as a cover for unsustainable fossil fuel expansion”, Minister Ryan told reporters Sunday, as cited by The Journal.
The COP28 discussions center on producing a decision text urging nations to enhance climate action in light of the Global Stocktake assessment that the world is falling behind in efforts to limit temperature rise.
Carbon capture and storage, while capable of mitigating emissions from industrial processes, face criticism for their cost and perceived potential as a future excuse to delay essential emission cuts.
Minister Ryan affirmed Ireland’s commitment to implementing CCS in the next Climate Action Plan, which is due to be released by year-end, and acknowledged the need for additional measures regarding cement plants and carbon capture.
He also emphasized the importance of elevating ambition and setting specific targets, especially in finance and mitigation, to effectively respond to the Global Stocktake.
Expressing concerns about the ambiguous stance on fossil fuels of Ireland’s Taoiseach, or Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar on Saturday, climate advocates are pushing for clarity on the nation’s commitment to phasing out, not just reducing, fossil fuel usage, The Journal said.
Outside of negotiations, the theme of the conference on Sunday was health, highlighting the connection between climate change and adverse health effects.
Organizations like the International Society of Doctors for the Environment staged protests, emphasizing that the climate crisis is also a health crisis.
On Saturday, 120 countries endorsed a Climate and Health Declaration, urging governments to shield communities from climate impacts and fortify health systems to cope with challenges like extreme heat stress and infectious diseases.