As a gathering of G20 leaders in India concluded on Sunday, September 10, 2023, UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, announced what is considered the UK’s biggest single financial contribution to helping the world’s most vulnerable people adapt to and mitigate the impact of climate change.
The UK will contribute £1.62 billion ($2 billion) to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), which was established by 194 countries following the Copenhagen Accord at COP15. The GCF is the largest global fund dedicated to supporting developing countries to reduce global emissions and helping communities adapt to the effects of climate change.
The pledge represents a 12.7% increase on the UK’s previous contribution to the GCF for the period of 2020 to 2023, which was itself a doubling of the UK’s initial funding to establish the fund in 2014.
At the G20 Summit, the Prime Minister called on leaders to work together ahead of the COP28 Summit this December to both reduce their countries’ own carbon emissions and support vulnerable economies to deal with the consequences of climate change.
Addressing G20 leaders, the Prime Minister, said: “The UK is stepping up and delivering on our climate commitments, both by decarbonising our own economy and supporting the world’s most vulnerable to deal with the impact of climate change.
“This is the kind of leadership that the world rightly expects from G20 countries. And this government will continue to lead by example in making the UK, and the world, more prosperous and secure.”
The UK has led international efforts to help developing countries tackle climate change, including by pledging to spend £11.6 billion on international climate finance between 2021 and 2026.
The announcement marks a major contribution towards this commitment and follows the Prime Minister’s announcement at COP27 that the UK would triple funding for climate adaptation.
Since 2011 UK climate aid spending has helped over 95 million people cope with the effects of climate change and reduced or avoided over 68 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.
Reacting, UK High Commissioner in Nigeria, Dr. Richard Montgomery said: “This recent contribution to the Green Climate Fund makes the UK one of its largest donors. The GCF is expected to deliver for developing countries like Nigeria, supporting a transition to a sustainable low-carbon economy and creation of jobs, promoting food security and tackling poverty.
“Nigeria is vulnerable to and increasingly impacted by climate change, and must be supported to access high quality climate finance proportionate to its size and needs. Therefore, we would like to see the GCF actively supporting Nigeria’s ambitious climate goals and working closely with the Nigerian Government to facilitate access and utilisation of the fund.”