Budget 2023 must be a climate justice budget

Budget 2023 must be a climate justice budget

The devastating impacts of climate change are being felt everywhere and are having very real consequences on people’s lives, especially in the world’s poorest countries. It is affecting many of the communities Oxfam works with, undermining their livelihoods through gradual, insidious changes in temperature and rainfall patterns, and increasing the frequency and/or intensity of hazards such as floods and droughts. Vulnerability to disaster and climate breakdown matters because it perpetuates and deepens poverty and suffering. It stands in the way of people – particularly women – being able to enjoy their basic rights and reduces their chances of ever being able to attain them.

The most important thing Ireland can do to help mitigate this is to fully implement its commitments in the Paris Agreement to keep global warming below 1.5C. In implementing effective climate action, the Irish government needs to confront extreme carbon inequality in Ireland in Budget 2023. To achieve climate justice those most responsible for causing climate change, both in Ireland and around the world, have the most responsibility for addressing this issue. To do this, Ireland must implement measures targeting excessive and luxury emissions, ending subsidies for high emitting sectors and implementing a comprehensive just transition process to support those most impacted by the transition to a post-carbon future.  

As well as reducing carbon emissions at home, richer countries like Ireland should provide sufficient climate finance to ensure that nations most impacted by climate breakdown have adequate resources to implement necessary adaption and mitigation measures. Oxfam Ireland believes that Budget 2023 needs to increase the quantity and quality of climate finance to nations in the Global South who are facing the brunt of the planetary emergency. Not only are those nations of the Global South the least responsible for causing climate breakdown, but in historical terms, vast inequalities persist in who contributes to current emissions, both internationally and within Ireland.

Oxfam Ireland fully concurs with the Dóchas Budget 2023 submission which states: 

“It is estimated that Ireland’s fair share of climate finance allocations under the UNFCC would be between €340m to €840m per year taking past emissions and wealth into account” based on calculations by the Overseas Development Institute which state that Ireland is only paying 25%-50% of its fair share. Therefore, Oxfam Ireland agrees that Ireland needs to deliver and move beyond its target of €225m per annum of climate finance as a matter of urgency.

Furthermore, Oxfam Ireland believes that the Irish Government needs to demonstrate the effectiveness and uniqueness of its climate finance by providing increased accountability and visibility of this finance’s effectiveness and ‘additionality’. In terms of additionality, Ireland ranked poorly in a recent comparative analysis by CARE International, as Ireland provided “no strongly additional climate finance”. As has also been stated by Dóchas in its submission, all climate finance funding must be demonstrated to be new and additional to any future increases in ODA as per Ireland’s obligations under the UNFCCC, and there should be full transparency in this regard.  It is vital that Ireland:

  • Ensure climate action addresses extreme carbon inequality by targeting excessive and luxury emissions, ending subsidies for high emitting sectors and implementing a comprehensive just transition process to support those most impacted by the transition to a post-carbon future.
  • Increase Ireland’s climate finance contribution to ensure that Ireland is contributing its fair share.
  • Ensure climate finance provides additional resources that transparently (through detailed reporting of outcomes) contribute to outcomes to support those most vulnerable to climate breakdown.

For more details of how Budget 2023 can contribute to addressing inequality, ending poverty and creating a more sustainable world please see our pre-budget submission HERE

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