I am fully cognisant of the urgent, global challenge of climate change and its effects, particularly those experienced in the developing world. The scale and complexity of this challenge demands a coordinated approach at both national and international levels. Ireland is committed to concerted multilateral action to tackle climate change through the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit global average temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, with an ambition of 1.5 degrees Celsius. The Agreement is designed to meet this objective through Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) submitted by all parties to the agreement.
Ireland will contribute to the achievement of these objectives through the NDC submitted by the European Union on behalf of its Member States, committing to a reduction of at least 40% in EU-wide emissions by 2030 compared with 1990 levels.
In the context of Ireland’s commitment to and solidarity with our developing country partners, I was pleased to be able to announce last November in Bonn that Ireland will join the NDC Partnership, an initiative which represents a highly practical approach to sharing capacity and policy insights with our developing country partners towards meeting their commitments under the Paris Agreement.
Ireland made a commitment in 2015 to provide at least €175 million in public funding on climate action between 2016 and 2020, and reported a total of €52.7 million in funding in 2016. The majority of this funding supports adaptation and mitigation action in developing countries, largely in sub-Saharan Africa, through the Official Development Assistance budget of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. My Department made contributions of €4.5 million over 2016 and 2017, supporting the Green Climate Fund, the NDC Partnership, and a number of other international climate initiatives.