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Minister Welcomes Mary Robinson’s appointment as UN Special Climate Envoy

Alan Kelly, Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government today (15 July) warmly welcomed the appointment by United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, of former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, as UN Special Envoy for Climate Change.

Mrs. Robinson has been instrumental, through her Foundation for Climate Justice, in championing greater fairness and equity in terms of all developing countries sharing both the burden and benefits of climate stabilisation, and this new role reflects the impetus that her international standing, commitment and expertise can provide in securing consensus on a new global climate deal.

Minister Kelly said: “This is a hugely critical time in international negotiations on a new global climate deal which all countries are working towards by the end of 2015 at the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties in Paris, and Mary Robinson’s appointment is a clear recognition of her long-standing efforts campaigning for climate justice and also an acknowledgement of the great regard that she continues to be held in by all countries across the globe.

The next 18 months will be a very intense period of negotiations, beginning with the Secretary General’s Climate Leaders’ Summit in New York in September and the Irish Government stands ready to support Mrs Robinson in her new role and to continue to strive urgently with fellow EU countries as well as with least developed and developing nations to ensure that all states sign up to a new effective and legally binding climate agreement which can collectively reduce our emissions and keep global temperature increases to under 2 degrees.”

The Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice, together with the Irish Government, the World Food Programme and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, organised a major international Hunger Nutrition Climate Justice Conference in Dublin Castle in April 2013, during Ireland’s Presidency of the EU. Combining key policy makers in global development with the people living on the frontlines of climate change and food insecurity, the Conference aimed to look beyond the policy processes and focus on people, relationships and building trust at local, national and international level, to ensure that future policies are grounded in the challenges, hopes and experiences of people who struggle to feed their families in a time of great uncertainty, amplified by a changing climate.