Shame on Ireland – “Fossil of the Day” in Lima

Ireland is one of only FOUR countries in the ‘developed’ world who have not contributed to the Green Climate Fund, designed to support developing countries to fight climate change while growing economically. At the UN Climate talks in Lima this week, Ireland, Australia, Belgium and Austria were given the first “Fossil of the Day” award, making them very conspicuous by their absence from the fund.

Only last September at the Climate Change conference in New York, Taoiseach Enda Kenny stated that Ireland had contributed generously to climate finance for developing countries “despite our very challenging economic and fiscal circumstances in recent years”. He went on to say that Ireland has a strong and proud track record. “We are working within the EU to ensure a fair and effective burden-sharing of the EU’s overall commitment and we are implementing legislation to underpin our climate change efforts.”

Good Energies Alliance Ireland (GEAI) Director, Dr Aedín McLoughlin, stated that “The absence of contribution to the global Green Climate Fund is a disgrace for Ireland. It is a well-documented fact that Climate Change affects developing countries much more that richer ones, who can afford to put adaptive measures in place. It is also true that “developed” countries are the source of over 80% of carbon emissions that are the cause of climate change. We therefore have an obligation to assist in tackling climate change throughout the developing world.

Are the Taoiseach’s words just script to make us look good, while the reality is that Ireland is not prepared to support climate action? Do we not care about the profound changes affecting the whole globe? Are the recent discussions on Energy Policy just empty words?

We have a proud history of supporting the human and economic development of poorer countries and we cannot separate aid for economic development from aid for climate change programmes. Our ex-President, Mary Robinson has recently been appointed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon is the UN Special Envoy for Climate Change on the basis of her work on climate justice. “Building on her work on climate justice she will engage Heads of State and Government around the world in order to mobilize political will and action, and raise ambition.” said the announcement from Mr. Ban’s office. Surely the Irish Government should be the first to respond to her call?

GEAI calls on the Government to act as World Leaders in this vital area. “Ireland has a responsibility to be at the forefront of action on climate change – to show by example what can be done in our own country to reduce carbon emissions and to assist by every means the green development of poorer countries faced by extreme weather conditions, droughts, floods, changes in seasons and food shortages”.

Link to the original Press Release.

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