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Christian Aid Ireland has welcomed the €4.5 million pledged to global climate action this afternoon by Minister Richard Bruton during his presentation to the United Nations Climate Conference in Poland. The Irish aid agency has also welcomed the Minister’s restatement of his commitment to the implementation of the Paris agreement.

Jennifer Higgins, Christian Aid’s Policy and Advocacy Advisor was in Katowice to hear the Minister deliver his speech:

“This funding commitment is one sign of hope that Ireland’s dismal performance on climate change can improve. We call on Ireland to contribute its fair share to international climate finance - without which we cannot hope to achieve the goals set in Paris.”

“As international development agencies, we are aware of the devastating impact that climate change is already having. The poorest countries in the world did least to contribute to climate change, but it is they who are suffering the worst impacts of our changing climate. Developed countries, including Ireland need to put in place ambitious legislation and policy to set themselves on a path to a zero-carbon future and to assist those countries most at risk to adapt to our already changing climate.”

“Minister Bruton’s comments today that Ireland will ‘make huge changes’ domestically is also welcome because despite its small size, Ireland has a big impact on the climate and is, as we already know, massively off-course to achieve our 2020 and 2030 targets. But the absence from his speech of any mention of the IPCC special report or any specific domestic policy commitments is very worrying. Ireland has a significant responsibility to act fast. This statement here at COP is a hopeful one, but it needs to be followed up by real, concrete, transformational change at home if we are ever to achieve our targets and contribute meaningfully to the global effort to fight climate change.”

For information or to interview Jennifer Higgins live from the Katowice climate summit, contact Lisa Fagan on +44 (0)28 9064 8133 ext 214