Denis Naughten says it's one of the scary realities that is adding to pressure on our health services

The Environment Minister's warning that four people are dying prematurely every day in Ireland, because of poor air quality.

Denis Naughten says it's worrying that studies have shown a third of people in the US don't accept that human-induced climate change is happening.

However, he stressed our actions today can have a direct impact tomorrow and the day after.

Minister Naughten said the reality is that if we don't get it right now, the next generation will suffer.

He said that while the Government will be investing in environmental measures, "we also need to get the public to come with us, to work with us on that road".

He observed: "The steps we take today to reduce emissions can have a direct impact in improving air quality - reducing the number of deaths in relation to breathing-related complications, and reducing the pressure on our health services."

Earlier this week, Minister Naughten acknowledged that the current plan to cut carbon emissions isn't working.

Speaking in Trinity College yesterday evening, he said: "I am acutely aware of the challenges we face, both at home and internationally, to achieve the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement and tackle climate change."

"It is important to acknowledge that the journey we are all embarked on is about fundamental societal change, and it is vital that we listen to the ideas and concerns of all our people to ensure their hearts and minds are committed to the transition we are making."