Fine Gael TD for Galway West & Mayo South

PQ No. 200 – 21st April – Promoting Climate Justice

To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade in recognition of the effects of climate change, which have impacted on Ireland through the severe Atlantic storms of last winter, but which impact hugely on developing nations, the steps his Department is taking in promoting climate justice, including the work to secure international agreement in 2015 – Seán Kyne.

Reply: Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan

The Government recognises global climate change as one of the key challenges of this century.  Failure to address it effectively will seriously affect all countries.  Ireland’s policy for International Development “One World One Future” was published in May 2013, and identifies “Climate Change and Development” as one of six priority areas of action.

The most severe impact of climate change is on vulnerable people and communities in the least developed countries, in particular women and children. Erratic weather patterns and the increasing number of severe weather events are already having a devastating effect on their lives.

Through our aid programme, Ireland is supporting the affected communities to build their resilience, through the adaptation of agriculture and food systems to climate change, and through assistance to address climate risks and prepare for the effects of disasters.  Over the last three years, we have provided some €34 million annually through the work of the Irish Aid programme in integrating climate change actions into development. These resources are delivered principally through the key partner countries for the aid programme, civil society organisations, and international organisations, mainly for work in sub-Saharan Africa.

This year, through the aid programme, Ireland will provide €1 million to a fund under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, dedicated to assisting least developed countries to better plan for climate adaptation nationally. In addition, we are providing funding to support these countries to participate in the international climate change negotiations.

I am pleased that my Department has also been in a position to provide €100,000 in support of the office of the UN Special Envoy on Climate Change, Mary Robinson, as well as facilitation of political outreach for the role at EU level.  Irish Aid has also provided funding in recent years to support the work of the Mary Robinson Foundation Climate Justice

Ireland and our EU partners are determined to work with all Parties towards delivery of an ambitious climate agreement at the Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris in December 2015.