Climate crisis and COP28

Finding a way forward

Sir, – One would hope that the devastating weather patterns that set startling new records in 2023, claiming lives across the world, will be a trigger for real and lasting solutions at this year’s COP28 climate change conference in Dubai.

There are key areas that require particular attention if there is to be a chance of making this year’s COP a success.

First, while last year’s COP was deemed a victory for climate justice as governments agreed to establish a Loss and Damage Fund, it is crucial there is agreement this year on the level of funding, how the fund will work and how it will be distributed.

Second, we simply have to address the root cause of the climate crisis – oil, coal and gas. To avert runaway climate breakdown the fossil fuel era must come to an end in a way that is fair, fully funded and fast. It cannot be diluted by partial phase-out, nonsense solutions such as carbon capture and we have to take every necessary action to do this. Our lives, our children’s futures, our global solidarity depend on this happening.


Other actions are also needed – scaling up climate finance and a new work programme on Agriculture and Food Security to be agreed at COP28 must talk about the real solutions such as agroecology to make farmers and food systems fit for purpose in an era of climate change.

Every year there is great expectation in the build-up to COP, with disappointing outcomes. This year has to be different. Time is running out. – Yours, etc,



ActionAid Ireland,

Dublin 1.

Sir, – Further to “The Irish Times view on Cop28: distracted politicians need to find a way forward” (November 26th), decades of fossil fuel burning by the world’s wealthiest countries and a failure to make the necessary rapid and deep cuts to their own emissions have caused global temperatures to rise to unprecedented levels, driving the climate crisis we see wreaking havoc across the world.

At the heart of this crisis lies a profound and sustained injustice.

It is the world’s poorest countries, who have done least to cause this crisis, who are bearing its worst effects and being left to pick up the bill for the costs of its unavoidable and irreversible impacts, known as loss and damage.

The continent of Africa, home to more than 1.4 billion people, is responsible for less than 4 per cent of historic global emissions. Yet across the continent, and in many of the countries that Christian Aid works in, the real life impacts of loss and damage are clear to see, at great human, economic and social cost.

This week the UN’s Climate Summit, COP28, kicks off in Dubai and presents a momentous opportunity to build on the historic agreement made last year to set up a new Loss and Damage Fund to support countries on the frontlines of the climate crisis recover and rebuild in the immediate and long-term aftermath of climate disasters.

Right now, the fund’s coffers lie empty and there is disagreement over the sources and scale of the funding required. As the wrangling over the fund continues, the injustice at the centre of the climate crisis continues to go unchecked.

COP28 must be a stake in the ground for historically high-emitting countries, including Ireland, to finally live up to their responsibility for creating the climate crisis through action, not just words, and pay their fair share of the Loss and Damage finance that countries on the frontlines of the climate crisis so urgently need, and rightly deserve. Recent research published by Christian Aid and Trócaire estimates Ireland’s fair share of loss and damage finance to be at least €1.5 billion a year by 2030.

Poorer countries can no longer wait for these financial supports that are rightly owed to them, not as an act of charity, but on the basis of historic responsibility, fairness and wealth. Put simply – climate justice delayed is climate justice denied. – Yours, etc,


Chief Executive,

Christian Aid Ireland,

Dublin 2.

A chara, – Further to “’Very worrying’ that UAE could use Cop28 host role to strike oil deals, says Mary Robinson (News, November 27th), the world was duped for many decades about the effects of using fossil fuels. For the host nation to use Cop28 to strike oil deals takes the issue of climate change beyond cynicism and into the realm of farce.

Anyone organising a pantomime over the next few weeks should take notes. – Is mise,


Leitir Ceanainn,

Co Dhún na nGall.