UK to double international climate investment contribution to £1.44bn
The UK has confirmed it will double its contribution to the global fund aimed at tackling climate change in developing countries to £1.44bn.
Announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the G7 Summit in Biarritz, France, the new pledge will see the UK double the current £720m spent on international climate aid that was made during an initial resource mobilisation period.
UK Business and Energy Secretary Andrea Leadsom said: “The Green Climate Fund has supported millions of people in developing countries deal with the impacts of a changing climate. I’m really proud to announce that we are doubling our contribution and continue to work with other nations to tackle this global issue."
The £1.44bn pledge was issued following consultation meetings with developing countries and board members of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), which will collect and redistribute the money. Following a second consultation later this week, a pledging conference will be held in autumn 2019.
The GCF has allocated more than $5.2bn to 111 climate projects with a total value of $18.7bn when co-financing mechanisms are considered. The projects are located across 99 countries. The GCF is established within the framework of the UNFCCC.
The Fund has also approved $160m for capacity building activities to help 126 developing nations identify their highest-impact climate finance issues and the methods to address them.
Responding to the announcement, GCF’s executive director Yannick Glemarec stated: “The Green Climate Fund welcomes the British government’s commitment to climate action in developing countries. The announcement to double contributions to GCF shows strong UK international leadership in responding to the climate emergency.
“It is also a sign of trust in the GCF to deliver transformative climate outcomes that help developing countries raise and realise their climate ambitions.”
In May, the UK's International Development Secretary Rory Stewart revealed plans to double the amount of foreign aid spent on climate-related projects to over the next five years. Stewart said he would like the £1.1bn sum that the Department for International Development (DFID) spends on climate mitigation and adaptation projects overseas annually to rise to £2.2bn by 2024.
However, over the last seven years, the UK has spent 60% of its overseas support for energy investment in developing countries on fossil fuels, with more than £4.6bn spent on climate-wrecking projects.
The commitment comes just days after the G7 was criticised for offering “chump change” to help combat the Amazon rainforest fires.
At the G7 In Biarritz on Monday (26 August) a $20m international aid pledge to combat the fires in the Amazon, the most of which would be spent on paying for more firefighting plane, was agreed by world leaders.
At the time of writing, Brazil looks set to reject the $20m in international aid pledged by the G7 nations to combat the fires that are devastating the Amazon rainforest, with President Bolsonaro saying he would reconsider if French President Emmanuel Macron apologies for “insulting” him.
UK Primer Minister Boris Johnson used the Summit to call for more ambitious action to combat climate change, pledging £10m from the UK to help mitigate the Amazon fires. However, the Labour party were quick to criticise the small sum set aside by Johnson, as well as criticising the Prime Minister for failing to rule out any trade deals that involved meat raised on land that was created by burning the rainforest.