The climate crisis is causing devastation across the globe. Hundreds of millions of people in the Global South are suffering, with women in particular impacted. Women and children are 14 times more likely to die from climate disasters than men and 80% of those displaced are women.

Extreme weather events – including record high temperatures and severe storms and rainfall are wreaking havoc. For example Malawi and Mozambique have faced the terrifying effects of Cyclone Freddy, the longest-lasting cyclone on record. Five seasons without rainfall have left severe drought and millions on the verge of starvation across Eastern Africa.

Fossil fuels and industrial agriculture are the two biggest drivers of the climate crisis. As the crisis escalates, these industries continue to expand and thrive. This compounds poverty and inequality and undermines attempts to alleviate poverty.

Read the Irish “How the Finance Flows” Report

Read The Global “How the Finance Flows” Report

How banks are fuelling the climate crisis

  • Bank financing provided to the fossil fuel industry in the Global South reached an estimated US$3.2 trillion in the seven years since the Paris Agreement on Climate Change was adopted.
  • Bank financing provided to the largest industrial agriculture companies operating in the Global South amounted to US$370 billion over the same period.
  • Since the Paris Agreement, banks have provided 20 times more financing to fossil fuels and agriculture activities in the Global South than Global North governments have provided as climate finance to countries on the front lines of the climate crisis.

Ireland’s role in funding the climate crisis

Ireland’s role in the financing of these destructive activities is significant. Several large international institutional investors have subsidiaries registered in Ireland.

  • Investment managers registered in Ireland held US$ 5.2 billion in bonds and shares attributable to fossil fuels in the Global South.
  • Investment managers registered in Ireland held US$ 1.0 billion in bonds and shares attributable to agribusiness in the Global South.

In effect, Ireland helps global investors to profit from their climate-harming investments in the Global South. Read our Irish report here.

The climate crisis impact

Ireland’s role in facilitating this investment in fossil fuel has a real and harrowing impact. For decades, the oil extraction operations of Shell have been devastating communities in Nigeria’s Niger Delta.

Oil spills and gas flaring have decimated fish populations. This has resulted in the loss of countless fishing livelihoods and a sharp rise in hunger for local people.

Martha Onisuru is a fisherwoman in the area. Her anger is palpable. “Before the arrival of Shell, when we cast our nets there was always a surplus of fish, and we would have problems taking all the fish home. Now that Shell has arrived, and they started burning their fire and spilling oil everywhere, since they came here, we cannot catch fish.” She told us that as a result, “We are dying of hunger.”

Shell’s operations in the Global South have received an estimated US$37.6 billion in financing since 2016. US$ 550 million of this was channeled through Ireland to ensure that Shell makes the largest profit on its activities.

Martha Onisuru, Niger Delta Fund our Future - Climate Crisis

What the Irish government can do

  • Amend and update the Fossil Fuel Divestment Act 2018.
  • Promote greater corporate accountability for financial institutions to reduce poverty and ensure environmental protections.
  • Deliver our fair share of climate finance.
  • Ensure stronger action to reduce emissions in Ireland.
  • Ensure policy coherence to support our development and climate objectives.
  • Actively support fairer global tax rules

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Climate crisis donations: disasters and global warming

Global warming is impacting the number and intensity of disasters around the globe. The climate crisis is fuelling droughts and floods which are having a devastating impact on the poorest communities. ActionAid is already on the ground in these areas, working with women, children and their communities to alleviate the hardships which climate change brings to the world’s poorest people.

But we need you help to make sure we can continue to stand with women and children in the fight for equality in the face of climate injustice.

Climate Crisis Donation

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