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March 2023: Tents at a camp in southern Ethiopia for people displaced by a prolonged drought that began in 2020 Alamy
Climate Finance

€120 million spent by Ireland to help developing countries deal with climate change in 2022

Developing countries are suffering the worst from the climate crisis despite contributing the least.

NEW FIGURES SHOW that Ireland spent €120.8 million on international climate finance in 2022 – halfway to a target of €225 million by 2025.

Developing countries that have contributed the least to greenhouse gas emissions historically are now suffering from the worst impacts of the climate crisis and have the fewest resources to deal with it, prompting wealthier countries to allocate aid towards climate projects.

A new report released today by the Department of Foreign Affairs details that government departments collectively put €120.8 million towards climate finance in 2022.

The figure represents a 21% increase on 2021 and the highest amount provided by Ireland in a single year.

2025 target

In 2021, the government committed to providing at least €225 million in climate finance to developing countries annually by 2025.

However, that target was criticised at the time for falling short of what environmental activists said would be Ireland’s fair share of global responsibility.

“Taking past emissions and wealth into account, Ireland should be contributing closer to €500 million a year in climate finance, which means this increased commitment, while welcome, is still only half of our fair share,” said Conor O’Neill as Christian Aid Ireland’s Policy and Advocacy Advisor.

Half of Ireland’s climate finance in 2022 went to projects in countries suffering due to climate change to help them adapt and become more resilient to climate impacts.

One-fifth was spent on mitigation – trying to prevent climate change in the first place – and the rest went to activities that combined both adaptation and mitigation efforts.

‘Brutal realities of climate change’

Releasing the report, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin said: “Last year was the hottest ever on record. The wildfires, droughts and flash flooding that affected millions across the world have brought home the brutal realities of climate change.”

“Countries and communities who have done the least to bring about this crisis are the ones hit hardest by its impacts,” he said, adding that Ireland is “on track” to reach the 2025 target for providing climate finance to developing countries.

€70 million of the funding was provided through shared climate funds, international financial institutions and international bodies, such as the UN World Food Programme.

Of the finance that went directly to specific countries, Ethiopia received the largest amount, with €5.8 million spent on adaptation. 

Malawi received €4.4 million across mitigation and adaptation schemes. Tanzania and Uganda also received more than one million each. Palestine received €330,000.

In Vietnam, Ireland’s embassy in the capital Hanoi funded two climate projects with the Vietnam National University of Agriculture.

The over-use of pesticides in parts of Vietnam was the target of one of the projects. A team provided training to farmers about the negative effects of pesticides on greenhouse gas emissions and soil health and how to use alternative types of pest management.

Quinoa, a crop with some strains that can be resistant to extreme climate conditions like both drought and waterlogging, ”has the potential to be a nutritious and reliable food source in Vietnam, with potential also in the export market”.

The second project funded by the Irish embassy in Hanoi involved studying the strains of quinoa that are suited to the Vietnamese environment and are most climate-resilient. Researchers are currently conducting a trial monitoring the growth of selected quinoa crops.

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