Trócaire: ‘Equity’ demands that Ireland achieve zero emissions by 2024

The Catholic Church’s overseas development agency Trócaire has claimed that by ‘using the most progressive and urgent parameters’ Ireland would need to achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2024 in order for the states policy to constitute a ‘fair’ response to climate change.  

Trócaire says that this claim can be substantiated by applying the climate justice Equity Reference Framework (ERF) to Ireland.

The remarks are contained in the organisation’s submission to the COP26 event that was held in Glasgow this week.

Trócaire have also called on government to ensure that Ireland’s contribution to global climate finance arrangements should be ‘new and additional’ to our commitments of Overseas Development Aid, adding that “it is crucial that climate finance does not displace vital spending on addressing humanitarian need.”

The call for hundreds of millions in climate financing supports comes after the agency, as part of its Pre-Budget Submission, has called on the government to continue to grow Ireland’s international aid budget from €868 million to €2.5 billion by 2030.

The submission from Trócaire further notes that under the Paris Agreement, nine G20 members (the G7 countries, Australia and the EU) are required to provide public and private financing to support the climate needs of developing countries.

At COP15 in Copenhagen, developed countries agreed to jointly mobilise $100 billion per year for climate action by 2020.

According to Trócaire however Ireland has only provided ‘33% of its fair share’ to climate finance through its annual average of $199 million in 2018-2019.

Trócaire further notes that unless increasingly ‘ambitious’ measures are taken, the global community is at risk of creating a ‘climate apartheid’ scenario where the wealthy pay to escape overheating, hunger and conflict, while the rest of the world is left to suffer.

The submission also claims that Ireland, in the absence of commitments to reach net zero by 2024, “will need to do more than its EU counterparts” to achieve greenhouse gas emissions and that this will mean that the state will have to reduce emissions by at least 66% 2030.

This comes after the Government published its Climate Action Plan which aims to reduce carbon emissions by 51% out to 2030 at a minimum cost of €125 billion.

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