Action on climate change needs to happen at home and abroad

The Environmental Pillar calls on the government to help those affected by climate change in developing countries not just with aid but also by doing more at home to cut emissions.
The Environmental Pillar commends the government for its effort to support developing nations affected by climate change through Irish Aid but that is just one area where action is needed.
As the OECD assess Ireland’s record on development aid, the Environmental Pillar, which represents 28 national environmental NGOs, echoes their call for the government to spread it’s aid goals on climate change and sustainability into other areas.
Ireland has increased its’ proportion of funding for environment related aid from 13 per cent in 2009 to 19 per cent by 2012. This funding goes to projects that help communities cope with the effects of climate change and sustainability.
While Ireland’s aid record is improving on environmental issues, perverse domestic actions across the Irish economy are undoing the good being done oversees by Irish Aid.
‘This is typical of this government’s disjointed approach to climate change,’ said Michael Ewing of the Environmental Pillar.
‘The government are spending money to help developing nations cope with climate change while failing to address the root problem of emissions at home. Ireland is on course to miss our 2020 greenhouse gas emission targets and is highly dependent on fossil fuels for electricity generation.
‘Climate change is not something that only affects people in developing nations and it is certainly not something we can resolve through our aid budget .
‘In One World, One Future, Ireland’s policy document on International Development Aid, more emphasis was put on environmentally sustainable growth and climate change than was before. The government should make sure those principles are carried into domestic policies and make greater efforts to meet our international emission targets.’
The OECD peer review of Ireland’s aid programme also took issue with the coherence of Ireland’s policies on climate change.
They note: “While Ireland has made progress since the last peer review in making some of its policies more development friendly, it recognises, like many other DAC members, that it can go further. For example, Ireland is at significant risk of not meeting its 2020 greenhouse gas emission targets agreed under the EU’s Climate and Energy package. Its per capita CO2 emissions are still among the highest in the OECD, with 88% of electricity generation still based on fossil fuels; the EU average is around 40% (OECD, 2013b).”