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Trócaire calls on Government to radically step up its climate action commitments as world leaders gather for COP27 summit

Ireland is falling seriously short in its actions to avert the gravest crisis facing humanity and must step up its commitments to pay its fair share of the devastating costs of climate change, according to Trócaire.

Kula Halake, 58, a pastoralist from Mora Mora village in Borena Zone, Ethiopia stands next to one of her dead cows  during Ethiopia's 2022 drought. Photo: Barnaby Jaco Skinner/Trócaire. Kula Halake, 58, a pastoralist from Mora Mora village in Borena Zone, Ethiopia stands next to one of her dead cows during Ethiopia's 2022 drought. Photo: Barnaby Jaco Skinner/Trócaire.

Launching a climate change policy document ahead of the start of the COP27 summit, the overseas development agency sent a strong message on the issue of Loss and Damage finance, urging Ireland to show leadership by following Denmark and Scotland who are among the first countries to commit to Loss and Damage finance to pay for climate change impacts.

The agency said with successive droughts contributing to severe hunger and threat of famine in East Africa, and recent rains flooding one third of Pakistan, establishing a Loss and Damage finance facility will be a defining issue of COP27 and a key demand for civil society and developing countries.

Trócaire also urged the government to deliver the €225 million per annum committed to climate finance, and to increase this allocation based on the actual need of developing countries.  In Budget 2023, Ireland committed €25 million to climate finance under the Department of Foreign Affairs and a further €10 million under the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, but this leaves Ireland well short of the €225 million target and its estimated fair share of approximately €520 million, it said.

While Ireland’s Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill sets out a target of reducing emissions by 51% by 2030, Trócaire said we remain the third highest emitters per capita in the EU.

Trócaire urges Ireland to progress climate justice at COP27 and beyond and to:

  • Agree to establish a new funding facility to address Loss and Damage at COP27.
  • Increase climate finance in line with the needs of developing countries and ensure that all of Ireland’s climate finance funding is new and transparent, and additional to any future increases in Overseas Development Assistance as per Ireland’s obligations under the UNFCCC.
  • Pledge support for the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, a move which is also supported by the European Parliament.
  • Deliver commitments in the updated Climate Action Plan to hold emissions well within the limits set by the carbon budgets of 2021-2025 and 2026-2030. Current targets set by Government must represent the absolute floor of our ambition and significantly ramping up efforts over the coming years will be crucial if Ireland is to meet its fair share of the global climate mitigation effort.

Siobhan Curran, Head of Policy and Advocacy at Trócaire, said today: “The reality is some of the poorest countries in the world have contributed least to the climate crisis, and it is these countries that are living the crisis, experiencing massive losses and damage from climate impacts. They cannot be left to pay the price for a crisis not of their making.”

She added: “Millions of people in East Africa are experiencing crisis levels of hunger due to the worst drought in 40 years. The losses and damages in this context are profound, with a likely declaration of famine in parts of Somalia in the coming weeks with people facing mass displacement and loss of livestock and livelihoods due to drought. Successive years of flooding in South Sudan has impacted one million people this year alone.”

Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and South Sudan, represent 2.75% of the world’s population but account for just 0.1% of global carbon emissions. It is estimated that Ireland produces nearly 54 times higher emissions than Somalia alone and 59 times that of South Sudan.

She added: “COP27 offers Ireland the opportunity to lead by example: to take responsibility for its role in contributing towards the emissions that are spurring climate breakdown, and to work to advance climate justice. It also offers Ireland the chance to champion the voices of those most impacted, particularly grassroots women who face barriers to participate meaningfully in these negotiations and in climate decisions affecting their lives.”

Read our full COP 27 Report

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