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Phil's fine words in Doha are easy. Real test is the climate Bill at home.

7 Dec 2012

Fine words are easy. Binding targets are the real test.

Minister's "three card trick" on finance as we protect bondholders and burn smallholders

"A climate law with no targets is like ..." Competition launched

Commenting on Phil Hogan's speech to the UN climate conference in Doha, Oisin Coghlan, Director of Friends of the Earth said: 

"Fine words at far away conferences are easy. The real test for the Minister will be the publication of the draft climate change Bill, due in the coming weeks.
"To have any credibility it must set an emissions target for 2050 in line with EU plans for 80-95% reductions. And it must give our EU 2020 target the force of national law. Only a strong climate law will ensure the fine words are followed with real action."

Friends of the Earth has launched an online competition to point out the absurdity of a climate law without targets, with the entries being sent to Minister Hogan and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore. On the issue of climate finance, trumpeted as an Irish success story, Friends of the Earth was scathing In his speech the Minister claimed Ireland "will exceed its commitment to provide up to €100 million for the Fast Start Finance period" (2010-2012). But the minister is playing a three card trick. The Government promised "new and additional" money for climate finance. And in 2010 and 2011 €33 million was indeed allocated from the Minister's own Environment Fund. This year, however, the Minister has taken all the money from already allocated overseas aid. Commenting, Oisin Coghlan said:

"The Government is taking money meant for clean water and agricultural extension in Africa and switching it to pay for flood defences. To hear the minister tout this as 'exceeding our commitment' turns the stomach.
"Since the Tánaiste trumpeted Ireland's commitment to climate justice at the UN General Assembly last year, the new and additional money for climate finance has dried up.
"We're honouring odious Anglo bank debt while ignoring our mounting ecological debt. We're introducing austerity budgets in Ireland to pay unsecured bondholders in Europe while burning insecure smallholders in Africa who face catastrophic climate change". 

Notes
1.The Department of the Environment press release about the Minister's speech is online here. 

2.Minister Hogan's climate roadmap is here http://www.environ.ie/en/Environment/Atmosphere/News/MainBody,29241,en.htm

3. Friends of the Earth's "A climate law with no targets is like ..." competition is online here.

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