Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Timmy Dooley has said that Minister Naughten should be embarrassed for arriving at the 23rd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP 23) in Bonn after doing little or nothing to address Ireland’s own emissions challenges.

“Minister Naughten issuing statements about allocating €2.5 million to the Green Climate Fund and the UN Adaptation Fund would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious.

The Green Climate Fund and the Adaptation Fund are the key funding mechanisms of the UNFCCC providing financial assistance for mitigation and adaptation projects in developing countries.

“Offering money to low income countries that are suffering from the results of climate change is all well and good, but the fact remains: they are suffering because countries like Ireland are emitting dangerously high levels of emissions and are doing very little to reduce their carbon footprint.

“For me, it’s a toxic irony that this Minister is putting money into a fund to support low income countries deal with the effects of climate change, while at the same time, he is failing to take the necessary steps to reduce Ireland’s own carbon footprint.

“Perhaps it’s guilt, but it’s not what is needed. According to the 2018 Climate Change Performance Index, we are the worst performing country in Europe. Minister Naughten needs to do a lot more at home in Ireland. That will support low income communities much more than a €2.5 million allocation to this fund.

“When Minister Naughten comes face to face with his colleagues at the High Level Segment of COP23, he should apologise for the wholly inadequate response of his government to the existential threat that is climate change.

“A failure to lead the way in moving to an electric car fleet and delivering a viable renewable energy sector are just two examples of where Minister Naughten is failing as Minister for Climate Action.

“Real action at home in Ireland on reducing our carbon emissions is what is needed to stem the threat to Irish communities and to communities across the world.

“Minister Naughten when he returns from this conference needs to get real and start delivering on what’s needed to help end Ireland’s dependence on fossil fuel-based energy,” concluded Dooley.