The UK has pledged to help poor countries with a total funding amount of £290 million to cope with the impact of climate change, as the COP26 climate conference continues its second week.
This comes in addition to the almost £50 million in new support in the first week of the COP26- aimed at helping small island states to build resilient infrastructure against climate induced disasters.
For this week, discussions will mainly focus on how to support poorer countries and if compensations for damage from climate change-induced natural disasters should be paid.
Poorer nations have been vocal about the pledge made by advanced economies since 2009 to pay US$100 billion of financial support to fight climate change. Meanwhile, advanced economies have yet to assume the legal obligation for the impact of their emissions- because such a compensation could run into trillions.
As it stands now, Scotland is the only country pledging to donate to a compensation fund for countries whose economies have been damaged by climate change with a £1 million pledge.
Historically, developing economies have contributed only a small proportion of the damaging emissions driving climate change, compared with the carbon footprint of the world’s richest 1%, whose current emissions are 30 times beyond what is needed to reach 1.5 degree Celsius.
UK’s Pledge to Developing Countries
Out of the whole amount, £274 million representing close to 95% of the total will go to help Asia and Pacific countries better plan and invest in climate action, improve conservation and deliver low carbon development.
In addition, £15 million (5.17% of total) will go into the Adaptation Fund intended to help developing countries to lead actions where they most need it. The remaining £1 million is supposed to support delivery of faster and more effective global humanitarian action, including in response to climate-related disasters.
Speaking ahead of today’s session of the conference, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, UK International Champion on Adaptation and Resilience for the COP26 Presidency, said:
“We must act now to stop climate change from pushing more people into poverty. We know that climate impacts disproportionately affect those already most vulnerable.
“We are aiming for significant change that will ultimately contribute to sustainable development and a climate resilient future for all, with no one left behind.”Anne-Marie Trevelyan
UK to support with more Financing in the next five years
The UK has said it will “deliver over £3 billion in climate financing over the next five years”. This includes a £200 million for a new Climate Innovation Facility to scale-up technologies to help deal with the impacts of climate change in markets where private investors have been reluctant to take on the risk alone.
This year alone, climate change is believed to have contributed to devastating drought in southern Madagascar, flooding in Germany and China, and wildfires in Greece and the US, leading to loss of life and livelihoods. Developing countries and small island states are the most acutely at risk in terms of climate-related disasters.
Getting on track to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, will still require a great deal of finance to support countries. More investments and actions are needed to address the loss and damage from climate change before 2030 to prevent further catastrophe and suffering.