Environment and climate change challenges are at the heart of Ireland’s contribution, through our aid programme, to the fight to end extreme poverty and hunger in the world. Through Ireland’s development assistance programme, managed by Irish Aid in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we place a strong emphasis on building community resilience, reducing disaster risk and addressing climate change challenges in programmes in our key partner countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. At international level, we provide funding and support to the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction as part of our commitment to the Hyogo Framework for Action, which provides the global blueprint for disaster risk reduction efforts. We also provide strategic support for the work of a number of leading global environment and development agencies, such as the World Resources Institute and the International Institute for Environment and Development.
In 2009, the international leaders made a global commitment to provide US$30 billion for climate actions in developing countries between 2010 and 2012. I am pleased to confirm that Ireland has fully met its commitment to provide €100 million in assistance under this global three-year commitment.
Addressing the links between hunger, malnutrition and climate change was a central development priority for Ireland’s EU Presidency in the first half of 2013. Working in cooperation with Mary Robinson, the Government hosted a high level international conference in Dublin in April to focus on these interlinked challenges. This seminal event allowed us to hear the experience of local people from developing countries where climate change is having a direct impact on the poorest communities. One of the key messages from this conference is that we must take a truly integrated approach if we are to achieve sustainable development in a changing climate.
During Ireland’s EU Presidency, we also helped to strengthen EU action on building the resilience of vulnerable communities in developing countries.
Looking ahead, it is important that the issues of climate change and development have been set as a key priority area for action in the Government’s new Policy for International Development, ‘One World, One Future’ which I launched in May. This policy commitment will assist us in our efforts to ensure that the world’s poorest communities can develop in a way that is resource-efficient, climate resilient and therefore sustainable.