Video: Surge in Covid cases, Cop26 continues, Government to sign off Climate Action Plan

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Officials to meet over Covid cases

Public health officials will be meeting today amid a surge in Covid-19 cases and increasing pressure on hospitals.

A return of Covid-19 restrictions may be necessary if the current high level of infections persists, a former director-general of the HSE has said.

Speaking to Newstalk, Tony O'Brien said the Government and public health experts need to assess the possible reasons behind the recent surge in case numbers, after the country recorded the highest daily increase in cases since January on Tuesday with 3,726 new cases confirmed.

Cop26 continues

The Cop26 climate change summit continues in Glasgow today with the focus of talks switching to finance.

Discussions will centre on how to support developing countries and those most affected by climate change.

During his speech at the climate summit on Tuesday, the Taoiseach announced Ireland will be doubling its annual contributions of climate finance for poorer countries to €225 million by 2025.

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Mr Martin said countries in the developed world have a responsibility to those more challenged by climate change.

Government to sign off Climate Action Plan

The Government is expected to sign off on the new Climate Action Plan on Wednesday.

The plan, which is expected to be published later this week, will detail measures to be taken over the next decade in various sectors, including agriculture, to tackle climate change.

However, the plan is expected to exclude a pledge to cut methane emissions by 30 per cent which was signed by Taoiseach Micheál Martin and other world leaders earlier this week at the Cop26 summit.

Instead, it is understood the plan will include methane reductions of approximately 10 per cent, however, larger reductions across other greenhouse gases are being targeted in order to meet an overall reduction of 50 per cent by 2030.

Concerns over waste water treatment

Irish Water has "no clear action plan" to deal with concerns arising from the 34 towns and villages which continue to discharge raw sewage into the environment every day.

A new report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has criticised the slow progress made by Irish Water in carrying out essential improvements in wastewater treatment.

As the Irish Examiner reports, the agency said repeated delays in providing treatment in many areas were a significant concern as the delays prolong risks to both the environment and public health.

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