UK aid has helped millions of the world’s poorest people access clean energy and prepare for the impact of climate change in the last eight years, new statistics showed on Tuesday, September 10, 2019. The results come as the UK government announces it expects to host COP26 in Glasgow in 2020.
According to officials, UK aid is helping to tackle the impact of climate change, including through projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to grow climate resilient crops.
The International Climate Finance results, published by the Department for International Development yearly, show the dramatic effect these UK aid projects have had on reducing the impact of climate change.
UK aid supported climate projects have in the last eight years:
- Provided 26 million people with improved access to clean energy, including those previously living without reliable electricity in the poorest communities in Kenya, Rwanda and Malawi.
- Reduced greenhouse gas emissions internationally by 16 million tonnes – the equivalent to taking three million cars off the road for a year.
- Helped 57 million people to cope with the effects of climate change – from supporting poor farmers to grow climate resilient crops, to preserving water in areas facing an increased drought risk and investing in systems to help save communities vulnerable to extreme flooding and other impacts of climate change.
International Development Secretary, Alok Sharma, said: “The World Bank estimates by 2030, 100 million people will be pushed into poverty by climate change unless we act now.
“Projects funded by UK aid are already making a huge impact, helping millions of people access clean energy and protecting our precious forests for future generations.
“I am proud of our work, but there is clearly much more to do, and as the threat of climate change grows, impacting us all, including in the UK, there is absolutely no room for complacency.”
UK aid is reportedly tackling climate change alongside organisations like UK-based company BBOXX, which has provided over 200,000 solar home systems to off-grid communities and businesses in some of the world’s poorest countries. The company, based in Chiswick, west London, is said to have helped nearly one million people in countries including Rwanda, Kenya, Togo and the Democratic Republic of Congo where the majority of people are living without reliable access to electricity.
BBOXX Co-founder and Chief Technology Innovation Officer, Christopher Baker-Brian, said: “Technology and the positive disruption it brings is enabling us to unlock potential and improve the lives of many through access to essential utilities and services.
“New approaches coupled with investment is crucial if we are continue to move the dial on climate change and deliver on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.”
Last month, the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced at the G7 the UK would double its investment in the Green Climate Fund to £1.44 billion over the next four years, compared to £720 million between 2014 and 2019.