On July 22nd Professor Noel Healy briefed the Irish Ambassador to Colombia —Fiona Nic Dhonnacha— on the latest UN IPCC Report, along with recent developments within energy policy, just transitions, and climate justice. The meetings took place at the Irish embassy in Bogotá.
Professor Healy stated it “was a privilege to present to the Ambassador and her team. We spoke about climate justice; transnational responsibilities; global just transitions; and internationalist Green New Deals.”
“With the election of Colombia’s new president Gustavo Petro Goldman and prize-winning environmental campaigner Francia Marquez, the nation’s first black vice-president, there is potential for a seismic shift in Columbia’s climate and energy policy,” Healy added.
In Petro’s campaign manifesto, the now president committed to “undertake a gradual de-escalation of economic dependence on oil and coal.” Petro also committed to not granting any new licenses for hydrocarbon exploration during his 4-year mandate and to halt all pilot fracking projects and the development of offshore fossil fuels.
“Given that Colombia is a significant producer of coal, oil and gas, Petro’s proposals are the type of leadership needed on the world stage. If implemented, it would place Colombia as a global leader on climate. But it also emphasizes the need for richer countries to step up and provide the financial aid promised to allow fossil fuel-rich, low-income countries to achieve a just transition and kick-start their low-carbon futures,” Healy said.
Professor Healy was a contributing author for the UN IPCC 6th Assessment Report. He is currently a visiting professor at EAFIT Medellín. On two Witness For Peace delegations to La Guajira, Colombia, Professor Healy provided expert testimony on the forcible displacement of indigenous Wayúu, Afro-Colombian and Campesino communities by open-pit coal mining in La Guajira, Colombia.
Ambassador Fiona Nic Dhonnacha has represented Ireland in Colombia since October 2021. Prior to this, she was seconded from the Department of Foreign Affairs to the National Security Analysis Centre in the Department of the Taoiseach. She has served in the Consulate General of Ireland to Hong Kong as Deputy Consul General, and in the Embassy of Ireland in Ankara, Turkey, with responsibility for Consular Affairs, Culture and Education. As Deputy Director in the Department’s Asia Pacific Unit, she led at different stages on Ireland’s engagement with China, North East Asia, and South East Asia. She has also worked in policy roles in the Department’s International Security Policy Section, Political Division, primarily dealing with Ireland’s engagement in the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy, and Anglo-Irish Division, where she worked as Desk Officer dealing with political relations and reconciliation in Northern Ireland.