Thank you for contacting me about International Climate Finance (ICF).
Ministers believe that climate change is the biggest threat to our planet and tackling it is the number one thematic foreign policy priority of the Government, in line with UN Sustainable Development Goal 13.
The Government is delivering on its commitment to spend £11.6 billion ICF. In the financial year 2021/22, the UK spent over £1.4 billion ICF and figures for 2022/23 will be published in due course.
UK ICF supports developing countries to reduce poverty and respond to the challenges caused by climate change and environmental degradation. Investments help developing countries to adapt and build resilience to the current and future effects of climate change; pursue low-carbon development; support sustainable management of natural resources; increase access to clean energy; and reduce deforestation.
Already, it is evident the UK's ICF is successfully supporting developing countries to counter these climate-related challenges. Indeed, I welcome the Government's ICF Strategy, published in March 2023, that presents the headline achievements of ICF since 2011. The report confirms that UK ICF has supported 95 million people in adapting to the effects of climate change, improved the access of clean energy for 58 million people, and saved 410,000 hectares of land from deforestation.
Under the UK’s COP Presidency, almost all developed country climate finance providers made new, forward-looking climate finance commitments, with many doubling or even quadrupling support for developing countries to take climate action. One year on, the Climate Finance Delivery Plan Progress Report has reaffirmed that the climate finance goal will be met by developed countries by 2023 latest, with over $500 billion mobilised over the five-year period 2021 to 2025.
In support of this, the Government committed to, and is delivering on, doubling its ICF spend to £11.6 billion between April 2021 and March 2026, compared with the previous five-year commitment of £5.8 billion between April 2016 and March 2021. Recognising the existential threat climate change is already posing around the world, the Prime Minister has used COP27 to announce that the Government will commit to triple funding for climate adaptation as part of that budget, from £500m in 2019 to £1.5bn in 2025. Another significant outcome of COP27 was the establishment of the Transitional Committee under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to develop recommendations on new funding arrangements for responding to loss and damage. The UK continues to play a leading role by encouraging all members of the Committee and other parties to the UNFCCC to consider how new and additional resources can be delivered to support vulnerable countries in the future.
Most recently, I welcome the Prime Minister’s announcement at the G20 Summit in India that the UK will provide £1.62 billion to the Green Climate Fund, the biggest single commitment the UK has made to help the world tackle climate change.
While there is more global work to be done in the coming years, I am confident that the world will look back at the progress achieved at COP26 and thereafter as the beginning of the end of climate change.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP