Ireland must pledge five times more money to help poor countries tackle climate crisis

Ireland must pledge five times more money to help poor countries tackle climate crisis

Green Climate Fund short-changed by rich polluting countries - Oxfam

Ireland needs to contribute over five times the amount it has committed to tackle the climate crisis in order to ensure we’re paying our fair share, Oxfam said ahead of a two-day pledging conference to the Green Climate Fund which begins in Paris today.

Ireland is falling short of its climate commitments as it is set to pledge just US$16 million to the fund over the next four years. Although this doubles the amount pledged in the last round of funding, it is just 20% of the minimum amount (US$90 - 100 million) that Oxfam estimates as its fair share. This is based on Ireland’s responsibility for causing the climate crisis and the size of its economy.

Globally, the aid agency is calling on rich polluting countries to stop short-changing poor countries by billions of dollars, vital funds they need to mitigate and adapt to the devastating impact of climate breakdown. 

To date, developed countries have pledged US$7.5 billion to the Fund to cover the next four-year spending period. This is just half of the $15 billion that Oxfam believes should be the target in order to meet the growing needs of low-income countries.

  • Canada, Austria, and the Netherlands have contributed a third of what Oxfam estimates to be their fair share.
  • Australia has indicated that it will join the US and refuse to provide new funds in this round.
  • Countries such as Japan, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Finland, Portugal, and New Zealand have yet to announce their contribution.

By comparison, Germany, UK, France, Norway and Sweden have doubled their contributions since the first funding round in 2014/15.

Jim Clarken, Chief Executive of Oxfam Ireland said: “The people we work with in some of the world’s poorest countries are suffering the impact of the climate crisis right now and require ambitious and urgent action. They are on the frontlines of increasingly extreme and unpredictable weather caused by manmade changes to the climate.

“We, the rich countries most responsible for the crisis, will be the last ones to feel the effects. We have a responsibility to live up to our commitments and contribute our fair share to the Green Climate Fund. While Ireland has increased its funding, it can and should do more to assist poor countries. It is imperative that we assist those who are becoming increasingly vulnerable to flooding, drought and storms as well as other weather-related disasters.”

The Green Climate Fund was established in 2010 and will be the main multilateral channel through which rich countries can support poor countries to tackle the climate crisis. Over the past four years, more than 110 projects in developing countries have been allocated financial support from the fund for projects such as the expansion of solar power in Nigeria and Mali, the restoration of forests in Honduras, and the creation of more resilient agriculture systems in Bhutan and Belize.

ENDS

Contact: Alice Dawson-Lyons on 00 353 (0) 83 198 1869 / alice.dawsonlyons@oxfam.org

Notes to Editor:

A background briefing on the Green Climate Fund with a breakdown of contributions form key developed countries is available.

The International Energy Agency estimates that oil, gas and coal investments totalled US$933 billion in 2018 https://www.iea.org/wei2019/

The GCF is one of a range of channels, funds and initiatives through which developed countries provide climate finance to developing countries, in order to meet their overall target of delivering $100 billion of climate finance a year by 2020. Oxfam believes the GCF is an effective channel for delivering climate finance because it has an equal number of seats for developing countries on its board, a commitment to allocate at least 50 percent of funds to adaptation and to mainstream gender, and a structure that allows funds to be channelled directly to developing countries rather than through other agencies like the World Bank.

Oxfam is working with poor communities around the globe to help them adapt to a changing climate and cut their emissions. For example, rice production is also a major contributor to the climate crisis - half of all emissions of methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases, come from cattle and rice fields. The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) is a way of managing the plants, soil, water and nutrients so that farmers can produce more rice using less water, chemicals and seeds. It significantly reduces methane emissions.  More than 1.5 million smallholder farmers in groups supported by Oxfam’s partners in Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam have benefited from SRI.  Testimonies and pictures are available here.

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