World leaders must act now to prevent the loss of millions of lives and human suffering due to the devastating consequences of climate change and climate inaction, Trócaire said today.
Speaking after the publication of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Trócaire CEO Caoimhe de Barra said it is “a depressing and stark reminder” of the disproportionate impact of climate change, with poorer countries who have contributed least to climate change suffering most.
She said the global South is bearing the brunt of climate impacts, suffering more than 90% of the costs of climate change, and 98% of the deaths associated with climate breakdown.
Ms de Barra said: “We are in an emergency, and we need world leaders to act like we are in an emergency. The clock is ticking. How many more reminders do we need of a pending catastrophe? People are experiencing devastating consequences of climate inaction right now, but who is listening?”
She added: “The communities we support are in crisis, experiencing drought, floods and heatwaves with devastating consequences on people’s ability to survive. Richer countries must pay their fair share of climate finance and respond to the loss and damages that people are enduring.”
“This IPCC report is surely enough to prompt world leaders to act with the urgency that is required. We do not want to see a repeat of COP26 with poor participation of people from the Global South in decision-making, lack of firm commitments on key climate justice issues and a lack of solidarity. Trocaire Country Director in Somalia, Paul Healy, said behind scientific reports are experiences of deep human suffering.
“The IPCC report tells us what we already know and what we are seeing on the ground here in Somalia. For example, Somalia is experiencing ongoing drought with an estimated 4.3 million in need of assistance. During a recent assessment in Gedo, southcentral Somalia, where Trocaire manages the main health facility, the District Commissioner witnessed a father and his two starving children displaced due to climate change living under a tree in an IDP camp with no shelter and no food. Yet Somalia has contributed just 0.08 per cent of global emissions.”
As well as the urgent need for governments to address the crisis, to date there has been little focus on the importance of addressing the role of corporations and their contribution to carbon emissions, deforestation and environmental damage.
“When you consider the fact that just 100 companies, including the largest oil, coal and gas companies, are responsible for 70% of all global carbon emissions to date, it is clear that we cannot address the climate crisis without also addressing the issue of corporate accountability” said Ms de Barra.
“We need stronger rules to reign in the big fossil fuel companies. To do that we need our leaders to introduce new laws that will ensure corporations reduce their carbon emissions in line with the targets of the Paris agreement” she added.
Trócaire is calling for:
- Climate action to be underpinned by principles of human rights, gender equality and social justice.
- Richer countries must agree to a “loss and damage” finance facility.
- Developed countries must take responsibility to not only dramatically reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions, but to provide financing for countries and communities in the global South who have done least to cause the climate crisis.
- Developed countries must take responsibility to not only dramatically reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions, but to provide financing for the global south who have done lease to cause the climate crisis.
- Climate finance to developing countries needs to be massively scaled up to meet actual need, with a focus on adaptation finance.
- There must be legally binding regulation of corporations and big business so they respect human rights and the environment – the forthcoming EU Directive on corporate sustainability due diligence should include strong provisions for corporations to act in line with Paris Agreement.