Taoiseach’s Bold Move: €25m Pledged to Loss and Damage Fund for 2024-2025

"Leo Varadkar Commits €25 Million to Loss and Damage Fund at COP28, Demonstrating Ireland's Climate Leadership"

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has announced that Ireland will contribute €25 million to the new Loss and Damage Fund for 2024 and 2025. He made this pledge during his national statement at the 28th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28) in Expo City, Dubai. The Loss and Damage Fund was established at COP27 in Egypt last year, making it the first United Nations fund dedicated to addressing climate-driven damage.

In his statement, Varadkar emphasized the need for urgent action to limit the extent of climate change and mitigate its worst effects. He stressed the importance of mobilizing society and engaging with various stakeholders, including farmers, workers, and enterprises. Varadkar highlighted Ireland’s efforts in helping farmers adopt sustainable measures as part of its strategy to tackle climate change.

Varadkar acknowledged that Ireland is a wealthy country and called for the Loss and Damage Fund to begin disbursing finance as soon as possible. He announced a contribution of €25 million to the fund for the years 2024 and 2025. However, new research by Christian Aid Ireland and Trócaire estimates that Ireland’s fair share of loss and damage finance should be at least €1.5 billion annually by 2030. Trócaire policy advisor, Michael O’Brien, urged Ireland to make an initial substantial pledge of at least €1.5 billion per year by 2030 at COP28.

During his speech, Varadkar also stated that Ireland will double its climate finance to at least €225 million per year by 2025. This commitment aligns with the country’s efforts to address climate change and support global initiatives.

In a separate report, Eurostat revealed that greenhouse gas emissions from the EU economy per employed person have decreased by 26% over the past decade. In 2021, the emissions stood at 13.7 tonnes per employed person in the EU, compared to 17.3 tonnes in 2012. However, Ireland recorded the highest emissions per employed person, with 22.8 tonnes. The majority of Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the agriculture, forestry, and fishing sectors, accounting for 41% and emitting 206 tonnes per employed person.

Meanwhile, the Micro-Renewable Energy Federation (MREF) called on Minister Eamon Ryan to reconsider his decision to reduce the domestic solar PV grant by 12.5% starting from January 1, 2024. MREF chairman Pat Smith expressed concern that this decision would discourage households from installing solar PV renewable energy systems, hindering efforts to reduce carbon emissions. Smith also highlighted the negative impact on jobs in small and medium-sized micro-gen companies across the country.

It is important for Ireland to continue taking significant steps to address climate change, both domestically and internationally. Varadkar’s announcement of a €25 million contribution to the Loss and Damage Fund demonstrates Ireland’s commitment to supporting global efforts in tackling climate-driven damage. Additionally, increasing climate finance and promoting renewable energy sources are crucial for Ireland’s transition to a sustainable and low-carbon future.

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons is the founder of Forestry & Carbon. Matt has over 25 years as a forestry consultant and is invoilved in numerous carbon credit offset projects.

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