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Climate action

Ireland’s pledge on Loss and Damage is a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul

Trócaire has described Ireland’s pledge on Loss and Damage as a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul.

While welcoming Ireland’s initial pledge of 25 million to the new Loss and Damage Fund, Trócaire is deeply disappointed that the pledge is not additional money to that which was pledged at the Glasgow COP, 3 years ago.  At that time the Irish government pledged to deliver 225 million each year in climate finance by 2025. This 25 million contribution to the L&D fund, while welcome, is not new money, it is part of the 225 million pledged already.

After decades of delay on Loss and Damage, it is an important step by Ireland supporting the Loss and Damage fund. The fund is a crucial development for addressing climate injustice. Trócaire says however that Loss & Damage finance must be new and additional in order to deliver for communities facing the stark reality of climate breakdown.

Trócaire’s Head of Policy and Advocacy, Siobhan Curran, said: “The significance of the Loss and Damage fund is that it should mobilise new funds to deal with the loss and damages that countries in the Global South are facing. Taking money already promised to mitigation and adaptation, and moving it to deal with loss and damage is not the answer. A repackaging of previous finance promises is not enough.

“We cannot continue to let the poorest people in the world pay the price for the climate crisis. Therefore, richer countries including Ireland must fill the fund as swiftly as possible with new, additional, adequate, accessible, grant and need based finance, based on our historical responsibility for emissions.

“As a wealthy country, responsible for more than our fair share of emissions, countries like Ireland must lead in filling the fund. The Loss and Damage fund has been hard fought for by developing countries who did least to cause this crisis, and who are being pushed into debt and diverting much needed public finance into dealing with catastrophic climate impacts.

“While positive to see the growing number of pledges to the fund, a reality check is needed on the scale of funding. Loss and damage costs could be in the order of 400 billion dollars per year, and the millions pledged will need to increase to billions, year on year. This means Ireland will have to dramatically scale up its Loss and Damage finance to meet the scale of the need. While welcoming the initial pledge as a starting point, we call on Ireland to develop a pathway to meeting its fair share of Loss and Damage finance.”

Ireland is already falling short on its fair share of mitigation and adaptation finance, with latest figures showing it has provided €99.6million of its estimated fair share of €500 million. An increase in the volume of finance is needed if we are serious about playing our part in tackling climate injustice.

Trócaire also calls on Ireland to cooperate with EU and UN countries and to progress new financial sources to pay into the fund. This could include taxes on wealth and profits of fossil fuel companies and levies on aviation and shipping. The polluter pays principle, whereby costs fall on the big polluters, should be adhered to.

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