The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten TD, has secured Cabinet approval for the allocation of €2.5 million to support international climate action.
Speaking prior to his departure to the Twenty-third Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP 23), taking place in Bonn, Germany, Minister Naughten stated:
“This morning I secured Cabinet approval for the allocation of an additional €2.5 million this year to support international climate action. The Government has also agreed to support developing countries through sharing information and expertise around our Irish Aid programmes. I am looking forward to representing Ireland at the High Level Segment of COP 23 in Bonn this week. This year’s Conference is a crucial milestone on the journey to full implementation of the Paris Agreement. To underpin Ireland’s commitment to full implementation the additional allocation will support a range of initiatives for international climate action.”
Ireland will provide additional financial support to the Green Climate Fund and the Adaptation Fund of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change as well as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The Green Climate Fund and the Adaptation Fund are the key funding mechanisms of the UNFCCC providing financial assistance for mitigation and adaptation projects in developing countries.
Ireland will also provide financial support to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2017. The IPCC is the international body assessing the science related to climate change. It was set up to provide policymakers with mitigation options and regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, its impacts and future risks. Its reports underpin the development of international climate policy under the UNFCCC, including the Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement.
The Minister also announced that the Government has agreed to his proposal for Ireland to join the NDC Partnership. Minister Naughten commented:
“Membership of the NDC Partnership will reinforce and help to amplify Ireland’s commitment to developing countries by assisting these countries in areas where Ireland has particular expertise, such as the delivery of Irish Aid programmes.”
Minister Naughten also confirmed that he secured Cabinet approval to bring a motion to Dáil Éireann to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. This will result in the phasing out of HFC gases (hydro fluorocarbons) used in refrigeration and air-conditioning units which significantly contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. The phasing out of HFCs would avoid 0.5 degrees Celsius of global warming.
The Minister added that our national procedures to ratify the Amendment will be completed by the end of the year. Ireland and the EU have been at the forefront of negotiating the amendment. The EU has agreed to ratify in its own right and is awaiting Member States’ national ratifications.
Ratification by Ireland is a clear signal of our commitment to playing our part in tackling global climate change.
Notes Irish support for international climate change action
Ireland has committed to scaling up its financial contributions in support of the commitment given by developed country Parties to the UNFCCC in 2009 to jointly mobilize US$100 billion annually by 2020 from public and private sources to support climate action in developing countries. At COP 21 in Paris, Ireland committed to providing at least €175 million between 2016 and 2020.
Public financial support provided by Ireland to address climate change in developing countries has been increasing year on year. In 2016, €52.66million was provided, primarily through bilateral assistance through Ireland’s Irish Aid programmes. The support of €2.5m in 2017 announced today is additional to support already committed by Ireland for 2017. Green Climate Fund
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is one of the key financial mechanisms of the Paris Agreement, supporting developing countries in reducing their emissions and in adapting to the impacts of climate change. Ireland committed to providing support to the Green Climate Fund during the negotiation of the Paris Agreement in 2015, and an initial contribution of €2 million was made in 2016. Ireland will make an additional contribution of €2 million in 2017.
The UNFCCC’s Adaptation Fund finances projects and programmes in developing countries to help vulnerable communities to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Its responsiveness and suitability for smaller projects makes the Adaptation Fund very relevant to developing countries.
Ireland will make a contribution of €300,000 in 2017. This reinforces the strong support for adaptation work of the bilateral programmes of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The success of the Paris Agreement depends on ambitious climate action by each Party to the Agreement. Nationally Determined Commitments (NDCs) are the key vehicle by which Parties commit to their respective implementation of the Paris Agreement.
Recognising the challenges faced by developing country Parties in implementing ambitious action, the NDC Partnership aims to mobilise support for climate action by sharing existing technical knowledge and capabilities, primarily in developed countries. Ireland’s membership of the NDC Partnership will facilitate sharing expertise and information on best practise, particularly regarding Irish development programmes in developing countries.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the international body for assessing the science related to climate change. It was set up to provide policymakers with regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for adaptation and mitigation. Its reports underpin the development of international climate policy, with a number of significant reports currently being prepared through its work programme. The 2017 contribution of €100,000 will help ensure the IPCC is sufficiently resourced to carry out this work.
Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol
The phasing out of HFCs under the Kigali Amendment will operate on a schedule which gives developed countries, including the EU, earlier targets. The Amendment also provides for assistance through a Multilateral Fund (MLF) to developing countries to help them meet their obligations on phasing out HFC gases. Such assistance is already provided to meet pre-existing obligations under the Montreal Protocol. Ireland currently allocates €616,000 into the MLF and it is expected that this contribution will increase under the Kigali Amendment, with first additional payment obligations arising in 2021. In light of this cost, Dáil approval is required prior to ratification of the Amendment.