Thousands of officials from across the world are gathering in Kenya today for a UN conference to discuss climate change.
The meeting in Nairobi will focus on the next steps that should be taken after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.
That treaty was signed in 1997 and required leading industrial nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 5% below 1990 levels by 2012.
However, it was never ratified by the United States - the world's largest polluter - and several other nations, including Ireland, are failing to meet their obligations.
The Irish branch of the environmental group Friends of the Earth is calling on the European Union to lead the way in reversing this situation.
Spokesman Oisin Coghlan says European nations should not wait and see who replaces George W Bush as US President before making commitments.
"We have to start at home and then we can press for international action together," he says.