"Raiding the existing aid budget and cutting off other vital lines of support for the global south is not good enough."
The prime minister’s commitment of a further £1bn from the UK Overseas Aid (ODA) Budget over the next five years towards assisting developing nations address the impacts of climate change is ‘nowhere near enough’, according to climate campaigners.
Announcement of the extra funding came during the COP26 climate summit which is underway in Glasgow. Boris Johnson has warned during the conference that the world is “one minute to midnight” in its bid to combat climate change. It comes amid growing concern among scientists that the world is not doing enough to limit the emissions of greenhouse gases. The 200 countries attending the crucial climate summit are being asked to set out their plans for cutting emissions by 2030.
Reacting to Boris Johnson’s announcement of an extra £1bn a year of climate finance, Daniel Willis, climate campaigner at Global Justice Now, said: “Proper provision of climate finance is crucial for the success of COP26, but Boris Johnson’s pledge is nowhere near enough. And there remain huge unanswered questions as to whether this is genuinely additional or adequate climate finance.
“To truly account for the UK’s historic greenhouse gas emissions, we should be providing $46 billion a year. But, with the UK being responsible for 9.7% of historic emissions from countries that provide climate finance, $3.4 billion a year is not even an adequate share of the insufficient $100 billion target. As a bare minimum, $9.7 billion of the $100 billion target should come from the UK, which is just one sixth of what we spend on defence.
“Raiding the existing aid budget and cutting off other vital lines of support for the global south is not good enough. And neither is piling them with more crippling debt. The government must spell out exactly where the money will come from and whether these are grants or loans.”
Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward