New pledge on climate finance is deemed to “fall short”

2 November 2021 

The €225 million pledge to climate finance made by Taoiseach Micheal Martin today “falls short” of Ireland’s fair share, according to Christian Aid Ireland. 

The Taoiseach addressed the World Leaders’ Summit at the international COP26 climate negotiations this afternoon and told delegates Ireland would be doubling its contribution to climate finance, increasing it’s total figure to “at least 225 million per year by 2025.” 

The figure, according to Christian Aid Ireland, is only half of the country’s fair share. 

When taking in Ireland’s past emissions and wealth, Christian Aid Ireland and Trocraire found that Ireland should be committing €500 million a year to help developing countries bear the brunt of the climate crisis. 

Developed countries had previously promised $100 billion a year to countries in the Global South in order to face the extreme impacts of climate change, however, the full amount has yet to materialise. 

The trend has led to “real anger in Glasgow from developing countries,” according to Christian Aid Policy and Advocacy Officer Conor O’Neill. 

“Richer countries have delayed and failed to meet their obligations, despite recognition that the current $100 billion per year commitment must be revised upwards after 2025 to match the needs and scale of the task at hand,” he said. 

Throughout the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, wealthy countries have, “shown very clearly that they were able to muster up billions to respond to the large-scale challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic within their own countries, a point not lost on developing countries,” he continued. 

The organisation is urging Ireland to increase the amount of investment in climate finance and to do so independently from existing aid budgets, otherwise Ireland would “be robbing Peter to pay Paul.” 

The Taoiseach also stressed in his speech that it is “not too late or too costly” to address the climate crisis and said there was an obligation for the developed world to support those most vulnerable to its impacts. 

“What about now?” 

Yesterday protesters from Fridays for Future gathered in a park neighbouring the COP26 venue and heard from young activists who experience the most severe impacts of the climate crisis in the Global South. 

“Uganda is known as a dumping site for all unwanted waste and yet all we can hear is the white noise of empty promises saying if we do this by 2050 – but what about now? What about 2021?” Ugandan climate activist Patience Nabukalu said in her address to the rally. 

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Kayle Crosson