Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveils £3bn climate aid commitment at COP26

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled major new climate funding of more than £3bn to help developing nations embrace green growth, as he used his speech at the COP26 Opening Ceremony to call on nations to "set off on a journey to a cleaner, greener future".

Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveils £3bn climate aid commitment at COP26

Johnson said that history would judge world leaders at this summit

Boris Johnson delivered his opening address at the COP26 climate summit today (1 November), unveiling more than £3bn in new international climate finance that would enable the world to “devote itself to the extraordinary task” of combatting the climate crisis.

The Prime Minister used the open ceremony of world leaders at COP26 to kickstart a new UK-based Clean Green Initiative (CGI), that will aim to scale up private investment in low-carbon and sustainable infrastructure globally.

The CGI will see the UK deliver more than £3bn in climate financing over the next five years to support developing countries. This will include a new £200m Climate Innovation Facility. The total amount is double what the UK’s development finance institution, the CDC, invested in climate projects its previous strategy period from 2017-2021.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:  “I want to see the UK’s Green Industrial Revolution go global. The pace of change on clean technology and infrastructure is incredible, but no country should be left behind in the race to save our planet.

“The climate has often been a silent victim of economic growth and progress – but the opposite should now be true. Through the Clean Green Initiative, we can help to build back better and greener from the pandemic and put the world on the path to a more sustainable future.”

The Prime Minister also confirmed that the UK aid-backed Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) will also commit more than £210m in new investment to kickstart an array of green projects across developing countries. These include electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing in India, green bonds in Vietnam and solar power in Burkina Faso, Pakistan, Nepal and Chad.

In total, the projects are expected to mobilise more than £470m in additional private sector finance.

The UK is also introducing new guarantees to multilateral development banks to ensure climate-related projects are rolled out across India and Africa.

A ‘Room to Run’ guarantee to the African Development Bank (AfDB) will be introduced and is expected to help African nations improve adaptation approaches against climate change. An India Green Guarantee will also be issue to unlock £750m in green projects across India.

The UK will work, through the CGI and with the support of Mark Carney in his role as the PM’s Finance Adviser for COP26, to support these and other partnerships.

Doomsday device

The Prime Minister used his COP26 speech to call on the UK and other developed nations to “deactivate the doomsday device” that spiraling emissions were creating.

Johnson reiterated that the £100bn commitment from developed countries to developing nations wouldn’t be delivered until 2023, but that the task now was “to work together to help our friends decarbonise using funds” and to “jointly identify projects to de-risk so private sector money can come in”.

“If Summit’s alone combatted climate change, then we wouldn’t have needed 25 previous ones to get to where we are today,” Johnson added. “But while COP26 will not be the end of climate change, it can and it must mark the beginning of the end of climate change.”

Matt Mace

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