Cameron pledges £6bn in climate aid

The UK Government has announced a boost of almost £6bn to its International Climate Fund which helps the world's most vulnerable countries adapt to climate change.


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The new funds, which amount to £5.8bn – a more than 50% increase on existing budgets – will go towards building climate-resilient communities through the likes of flood-resilient crop distribution and improvements to early-warning systems.

It will also help with the development of low-carbon energy systems in emerging nations in order to reduce emissions.

The move was announced by Prime Minister David Cameron at a ‘working lunch of leaders’ at Climate Week in New York on Sunday (27 September).

Cameron said the UK is “determined to play its part” in limiting global warming to 2C. “That’s why we will increase the amount of aid we spend on climate finance over the next five years, helping communities around the world become more resilient to flooding and drought and providing clean, reliable energy,” he said.

“That energy not only keeps the lights on, it also improves health and education, spurs economic growth and creates jobs.”

Leadership

The announcement marks an important moment of leadership from the UK Government ahead of the Paris climate talks, after recent criticism from campaigners and lobby groups alike.

At the UN climate conference in Copenhagen in 2009, developed countries committed to delivering $100 billion of climate finance a year by 2020.

However a major sticking point for negotiations in Paris centres on where that money will come from.

The UK Government said this latest pledge “represents a significant uplift to UK public finance for climate activities”, and “is compatible with our fair share of the $100bn”.

Commeting on the additional funds, Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd said: “Climate change is one of the most serious threats we face, not just to the environment, but to our economic prosperity, poverty eradication and global security, hitting developing countries the hardest.

“To ensure a more secure and prosperous future for us all, the UK is playing its part by helping some of the most vulnerable communities become more resilient to climate change and by supporting the developing world to take the clean energy path to growth and prosperity rather than the high carbon route”.

The UK’s International Climate Fund was set up in 2010, with £3.87 billion to spend between 2011 and 2016. 

Brad Allen

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