Delivering Ireland’s national climate statement, Taoiseach Micheál Martin TD said that climate change was fuelling conflict, global instability and competition for resources which is leading to “abject human misery”.
In his address to the COP 27 annual conference, which is taking place in the Egyptian capital of Sharm el-Sheikh, Mr Martin announced that Ireland would donate €10 million to the Global Shield Against Climate Risks initiative in 2023. The initiative, which had been originally agreed by G7 countries, aims to deliver disaster protection aid and the strengthening of insurance supports to regions impacted by catastrophic events in a faster and more systematic way.
The funding towards this ‘Global Shield’ is set to form part of a larger Irish package which will see a doubling of financial spending on climate to €225 million by 2025.
Channelling this line of action, the Taoiseach continued to address that more needed to be done to protect our climate – warning onlookers that, if urgency was not to take place, citizens would become increasingly cynical and weary where commitments to act do not generate a new reality.
“If this generation doesn’t step up urgently, future generations will not forgive us. As leaders, it is our responsibility to drive the transformation necessary,” he said.
“We can already see and feel the world around us changing. Temperatures in Ireland have been so mild this autumn that trees are producing new growth before they have even shed their leaves. The situation is urgent, but it is not hopeless,” he continued.
Within his speech, Mr Martin also noted that it was still not too late to act on climate ambitions and that the transition on which to do this would not be too costly.
Meanwhile, Minister for the Environment, Eamon Ryan TD has defended the Governments climate targets after criticism that Ireland’s share going toward the ‘Global Shield’ in fact comes from existing climate funding.
Speaking ahead of Wednesday morning’s Cabinet meeting, Mr Ryan argued that “there is new money. We have to deliver on the commitment we made last year which is up to €225 million a year for climate finance, and that’s really important first of all that we help the developing world to switch to renewables, protect them from the climate change that is happening and also to provide for loss and damage.”
He added that “the details of that are going to be discussed at COP, the Taoiseach was obviously involved in those negotiations yesterday, but the real work will be done in the next ten days.”