The social justice agency said it is important that Ireland’s obligations to climate finance under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are met outside of its commitments to ODA. The UNFCCC commits donor countries to providing “new and additional financial resources” for the “full incremental costs” of addressing climate change.
Trócaire CEO, Caoimhe de Barra, said Ireland has done “relatively well” in ensuring it provides quality, transparent climate finance with focus on building capacity and resilience in poorer countries.
She also commended Ireland for not providing climate finance through loans, which adds to already unsustainable levels of debt and fails to address the historical and financial inequalities that make climate finance necessary in the first place.
However, rather than committing new or additional funding envisioned under the Paris Agreement, Ms de Barra said the Programme for Government instead pledges increasing the percentage of ODA counted as climate finance.
“This is disappointing as it risks simply re-labelling existing aid as climate finance, rather than allocating additional funds” she said. “While In 2019 Ireland contributed €93 million to international climate finance, a welcome increase of 17% on 2018, our annual climate finance contributions would need to increase to nearly €475 million to meet our fair share of the €91 billion a year agreed by donors at the Paris Agreement.”
A new report by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) notes that Ireland has committed to doubling the percentage of ODA spent on climate finance by 2030. This would be a minimum of €80 million ($94.4 million) annually. However, at this minimum rate, Ireland would still only provide only 26% of its fair share, according to the ODI.
In its pre-Budget submission, Trócaire says an increase in overseas aid is needed now more than ever with 235 million people around the globe – the equivalent of 47 times the population of Ireland – expected to need humanitarian assistance and protection this year. That is 1 in every 33 people worldwide, a significant increase on the 2021 figure of 1 in 45.
New figures from The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2021 report reveal rates of hunger and malnutrition have increased drastically within the last year with around one in three people in our world, or 2.37 billion men, women and children, not having access to adequate food in 2020, an increase of around 320 million people in one year.
Spiralling hunger is being driven by climate change and biodiversity emergencies, compounded by the impact of Covid-19.
Ms de Barra said despite all of the challenges presented by the pandemic, Trócaire – with the support of Irish Aid and the generosity of the Irish public – helped 2.7 million people in 25 countries last year, working to tackle the root causes of poverty, injustice and violence.
The full submission can be accessed here: https://www.trocaire.org/documents/trocaire-submission-for-budget-2022/