Ireland’s Leo Varadkar’s pledge of €25 million to a “loss and damage” fund to help poor countries cope with climate change has been criticized by Irish aid and environmental groups.
Varadkar also came under scrutiny for not using stronger language on phasing out fossil fuels when he joined other world leaders at the United Nations climate summit in Dubai.
Mr Varadkar did not mention the “phasing out” of fossil fuels in his speech, but said he hoped Cop28 would “give us a clear path to safely and systematically reducing the use of fossil fuels”. He talked about whether it should be shown to him.
The difference between “phasing down” and “phasing out” has been a source of debate for governments around the world, with former President Mary Robinson and environmental activists calling for a complete phase-out of fossil fuels to preserve the planet. I’m looking for. As outlined in the 2015 Paris Agreement, temperatures will rise by up to 1.5°C.
The 2015 agreement reached at Cop21 set a 1.5 degree rise in temperature as the threshold to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
Mr Varadkar told Cop28 that Ireland was struggling to make as much progress as needed in its efforts to reduce emissions and needed to do a better job of explaining the benefits of a low-carbon society.
“Due to the high cost of living and energy prices, many people are worried about how much the transition will cost and how it will affect their jobs, incomes and living standards,” he said. “That’s a legitimate concern. We need to understand where people are coming from.” We provide peace of mind from ”
Mr Varadkar said leaders needed to better explain the transition. “We want more of the benefits of a more livable planet, cleaner air, new jobs, economic opportunities, fewer conflicts over resources, safer energy, a safer world, and fewer people moving out of their livable homes. You need to explain yourself better.’ I’m not going to support them anymore. ”
Mr Varadkar said Ireland would contribute €25 million to a new loss and damage fund agreed on the first day of Cop28.
“Loss and damage” refers to the impacts of climate change that exceed the capacity of people to adapt, while “climate finance” refers to major countries paying a fairer share of the costs of small countries’ climate change measures.
Ross Fitzpatrick, head of policy and advocacy at Christian Aid Ireland, said the €25 million was from existing climate finance commitments, not new ones, and said: He said it was “extremely disappointing” because of the “additional funding that countries urgently need for recovery and support.” Rebuilding in the wake of climate disasters. ”
“Ireland must contribute even more over the next year and beyond to ensure these countries do not suffer the inevitable and irreversible effects of a climate crisis that is not their fault.”
ActionAid called the €25m “deep disappointment” and chief executive Karol Balfe said the Taoiseach said contributions to the fund would come from addressing the existing fiscal environment, rather than additional money. He said the announcement was “like accepting it with one hand.” Giving with others. ”
Friends of the Earth Ireland said not enough was being done to tackle fossil fuels. Jerry Mack Evilly, Director of Policy, said: “We support the Taoiseach’s call that the police must set out a clear path towards a safe and planned reduction of fossil fuels. “However, the destination must be clear and We need a gradual phase-out.”
Mere cuts are not enough, he said, and strict limits on fossil fuels are essential.