Thank you for contacting me about international climate finance (ICF) as part of Fairtrade Fortnight. Unfortunately I am unable to attend the All-Party Parliamentary Group meeting this afternoon, but I have made a note in my diary about the event on 1 March and I will attend if my diary allows.
Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet; tackling it is the number one foreign policy priority of the Government. Like you, I am pleased that the Government is doubling its ICF spend to £11.6 billion between April 2021 and March 2026, compared with the previous 5-year commitment of £5.8 billion between April 2016 and March 2021.
At COP26, 141 countries committed to halting and reversing forest loss and land degradation by 2030 in the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forest and Land Use. The Government has allotted up to £1.5 billion in ICF over five years to support action to protect and restore forests in developing countries. In the activities supported by the pledge, the Government has promised to promote the full, effective, and willing participation of Indigenous Peoples and local communities in programmes that protect and restore forests, reduce deforestation and forest degradation, and to work to ensure that benefits reach smallholders and local communities.
I am encouraged that at COP26 in Glasgow more public and private finance was mobilised to support climate action in developing countries than ever before. Governments have committed to double the overall finance for adaptation and to address better the threat of loss and damage in climate-vulnerable countries. The Government is working to ensure that all countries make good on their pledges ahead of handing over the COP Presidency to Egypt later this year.
I recognise your point about access. While the amount of available finance is increasing, the current mechanisms for accessing it are often slow, complex and uncertain. The Taskforce on Access to Climate Finance, co-chaired by Fiji and the UK, was established in response to calls for reform from developing countries.The Taskforce aims to address the way ICF is accessed through the implementation of a new approach to ensure countries and communities get the finance they need faster, and in alignment with their own plans and priorities. At COP26 the Taskforce published a set of Principles and Recommendations underpinning this new approach: https://ukcop26.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Principles-andRecommendations-on-Access-to-Climate-Finance.pdf
The Government has committed £100m to support implementation of the new approach set out in the Principles and Recommendations, and Ministers continue to encourage other providers and recipients to apply this approach.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
22 February 2022