Ireland’s climate support for poorer countries falls short of ‘fair share’ - Oxfam

Politicians urged to ensure international pledge of $100 billion support is honoured

A woman searches for materials to rebuild her home after the passage of Cyclone Idai, in Beira City, central Mozambique in 2019. Extreme weather events are expected to become more regular due to climate change. Photograph: Tiago Petinga/EPA

Ireland's promise to double to €225 million its funding for poorer countries to tackle climate change falls short of its "fair share" according to Oxfam International.

The charity's Climate Change Advocacy Lead Nafkote Dabi has told TDs and Senators that the estimate for what Ireland should be contributing is between €450 million and €500 million and there is still "a distance to travel to reach this figure".

Her remarks came at the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs which was discussing the Cop26 Climate Summit and the impact of climate change on the developing world.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said the Government’s annual commitment to climate finance would rise from €93 million to €225 million over the next four years.


Ms Dabi said this was "significant" and "welcome" but suggested Ireland can do more. She also said such funding should not come at the expense of other pressing Overseas Development Aid (ODA) commitments.

Ms Dabi said: “’Additionality’ is one of the core principles of climate finance.

“I think you as parliamentarians know the difference between real new money and money which is simply reallocated from one fund to another.”

She added: “It is important that assurances are made that any new climate finance spending is made alongside other increases to ODA funding.”

She also urged Irish politicians to use their influence in the European Union and the United States to help ensure that developed countries honour a pledge of $100 billion per year in climate finance funding for poorer countries.

Earlier, Louise Finan, the Head of Policy at non-governmental organisation representative body Dóchas, welcomed the Government's Budget announcement of an additional allocation of €140million to ODA in 2022.

She said: “We see this as an important step towards meeting our international commitments and ensuring no-one is left behind”. She also said Dóchas is encouraged by a plan to grow ODA in line with a commitment of spending 0.7 per cent of national income by 2030.

Yousaf Jogezai, Concern's country director for Malawi, told the committee of the impact of climate change in that country which was hit by Cyclone Idai in 2019. Two million people were affected and hundreds were killed and the storm is estimated to have caused more than $370 million in damage.

He told the story of a family with seven children whose farm was left devastated. He said the mother, Sifati James, had been expecting a good harvest before the storm but the flood waters destroyed their half acre of land.

Mr Jogezai said: "Climate related events like these are only going to increase in severity in the future."

He said with the support of Concern, Irish Aid and others, Sifati was able to “get back on her feet”.

He said: “People like Sifati are already experiencing the worst effects of climate change and they have done the least to cause the problem and yet they are suffering the most.

“This we feel is deeply unfair, unjust and disproportionate.

“Ireland’s leadership, commitment and above all support for climate justice will be critically important in the coming days, weeks and months.”

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn is a Political Correspondent at The Irish Times