Statement by Ambassador Byrne Nason at Arria-formula Meeting on Climate Finance
Statement09 March 2022
Thank you very much, Mr. President and I want to say a big thank you to the United Arab Emirates’ Presidency for convening the meeting on this important topic. I am delighted to be here.
The Security Council has a responsibility to sustain international peace and security, and we certainly see climate security as an integral part of that responsibility.
And as an elected member of the Council, I also wanted to say that we take the responsibility of maintaining international peace and security very seriously. And I think it would be remiss of me not to mention here this morning, a preoccupying issue for all of us, which is the war in Ukraine. And to appeal for the Russian Federation to bring an end to their unjustified and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
I also want to call for immediate and unhindered humanitarian access for all those suffering on the ground, as we are in this meeting room today, in Ukraine.
Last week’s IPCC AR6 report has shown what the future will look like if concrete and substantial action is not taken today, and how acting even now will not prevent many adverse impacts of climate change in the decades to come. In the words of the Secretary- General, the report is “an atlas of human suffering”.
The Security Council has a specific mandate and set of tools at its disposal. These include its mandate for peacekeeping, peacebuilding, conflict resolution and post-conflict reconstruction. The Council cannot do its job in these areas without addressing the risks posed by climate change.
The fact is the Council has been increasingly addressing climate change. It has been possible to incorporate activities to take account of climate-related security risks into the mandates of many peacekeeping operations. It is important that this work continues.
I was disappointed with the outcome of December’s vote on the thematic resolution tabled by Niger and Ireland, which was not adopted despite having had the support of significant majorities both on the Council and across the UN membership. We remain determined however to advance this agenda along with our partners in the months ahead.
It is important to stress that in seeking such progress, we recognise that other multilateral spaces must also address this topic, with the UNFCCC the primary intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change.
Delivering effective, accessible and gender-responsive climate finance is an essential step to address climate change. That the $100 billion climate finance goal has not been met is a significant obstacle to that much needed progress.
The shortfall in achieving the target means that vulnerable countries are placed at an even greater risk as we see climate impacts take their toll on people and communities around the globe. The shortfall has also in our view eroded trust between developed and developing countries.
At COP26, Ireland announced that we will more than double our climate finance to provide at least €225 million in public climate finance by 2025. As we ramp up efforts to meet the $100 billion commitment, we need to ensure that this funding also makes its way to those who are most vulnerable.
Ireland has a strong record of focusing our international climate finance on countries which stand to lose the most due to climate impacts, in particular that means Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States, with a strong emphasis on adaptation.
An important message in the recent IPCC report is that adaptation can reduce risks to peace - reducing the impacts of climate change on climate sensitive drivers of conflict. Risks to peace are lessened by supporting people in climate-sensitive economic activities, as well as by advancing women’s empowerment and participation in peace and security efforts.
There are significant synergies that exist in the Council’s work. It is our job to nurture them. Delivering on the Women, Peace and Security Agenda can enable climate-resilient and gender-responsive development. Such an approach can support governments and civil society in making inclusive development choices that prioritise risk reduction, equity and justice. It is for these reasons that Ireland is supporting a Climate Security Advisor in the UN Mission in South Sudan through the Climate Security Mechanism.
As we look forward to the coming critical decade in our collective effort to tackle climate change, Ireland is determined to play its part. That includes our resolve to ensure that the impacts of climate change on our peace and security are addressed.