Government pledges €4.5m to six initiatives at COP24

12 Dec 2018

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After admitting failure in meeting 2020 carbon emission reduction targets, the Government has allocated €4.5m to make amends.

In the final days of the major UN climate conference (COP24) in Katowice, Poland, the Irish Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton, TD, arrived for his second visit to the conference.

Expected to attend a number of high-level meetings and making a national statement at the conference, he also announced that the Government is directing €4.5m to fund international cooperation on climate action.

“Multilateral action is the only way to tackle the global challenge of climate change. This funding is crucial if we are all to meet our global ambition,” Bruton said.

“We must support developing countries to adapt and to mitigate against the costs associated with the effects of climate change. This funding is in addition to the supports provide by the other Government departments involved in international climate action this year and represents a further scaling-up of climate finance provided by Ireland.”

The Great Green Wall

The biggest single recipient of funding will be the Green Climate Fund, established in 2015 under the Paris Agreement. The Government pledged to give €2m to the fund in 2016 and 2017, and has again renewed that pledge.

€1.2m has been allocated to the Great Green Wall initiative, which aims to prevent and mitigate against the effects of desertification. This planted ‘wall’ of greenery is expected to stretch approximately 8,000km from the Horn of Africa in the east, to Dakar in Senegal in the west, covering 10m hectares.

A total of €500,000 will be used to support more engagement and gender-responsive climate action, in order to make sure that climate measures target all sectors of vulnerable communities and meet the needs of those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

The Government is also renewing its pledge of €300,000 to fund projects and programmes in developing countries to help vulnerable communities to adapt to the impacts of climate change, as well as €100,000 to fund technical expertise in developing nations.

A renewed amount of €300,000 will also be allocated for enhanced engagement of non-party stakeholders at UN Framework Convention on Climate Change conferences and events, such as COP24.

Finally, Ireland renewed its €100,000 stake in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which recently made headlines across the globe for saying that we may have only a little more than a decade left before climate change is irreversible.

Last month, the Government admitted that Ireland was “nowhere near close” to achieve its carbon emission reduction targets set by the EU for 2020. An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, TD, did claim however that the country will meet its 2030 targets.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic