Reiterating the importance of continued international cooperation to pursue a global consensus on mitigating and adapting to climate change, the international ministers met at the United Nations Headquarters in New York today to reiterate the call to action by the world’s largest donors to invest in effective and sustainable technologies in the sectors of energy, agriculture, transport, construction and cities.
“Even with the commendable steps taken by the world’s governments, more needs to be done to address climate change,” said Britain’s Environment Secretary, Michael Gove. “These announcements today are designed to catalyse investment in the private sector so that we can make truly meaningful and significant global commitments. I commend the commitment of countries such as Japan and Norway to donate towards the loss and damage payments to developing countries. Britain will also be doubling its support to the Green Climate Fund for this purpose. However, the international community needs to do more to address the root causes of climate change such as poverty and inequality.”
“Today’s announcement is part of the Britain’s leadership role on climate change,” said USAID Administrator Mark Green. “The UK will support low-carbon and climate-smart development by committing up to £650 million of climate financing in the next five years. This commitment can help double US engagement in renewable energy, increase solar, wind and other clean energy investments in poor countries, build safer roads, and help to reduce deforestation through fuel-efficient technology.”
“The development of green technologies is increasingly essential to improving the lives of people, countries and the world,” said Ed Vaizey, Minister of State for Digital and Culture. “With the UN climate conference just three months away, the UK’s post-2020 leadership in the global fight against climate change is an important signal of commitment to help ensure the success of the Paris Agreement.”
The UK pledges to double its support for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to a total of $5 billion by 2021, enabling it to play a more active role in supporting vulnerable communities and low-carbon technology projects in poor countries to protect their economies and strengthen climate resilience to cope with the impacts of climate change. This will involve linking UK contributions to the GCF to UK domestic efforts to reduce emissions and enhance the resilience of the economy, households and communities. In addition, to support countries’ action to address loss and damage, UK contributions of up to $200 million are expected over the next two years.
The UK, which is host of the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP24), will also increase its contribution to the Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, currently making a cumulative contribution of $217 million, to a projected total of $250 million.
In related news, at the outset of today’s meeting, UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced that governments agreed to the establishment of a $1 billion Special Account to help the world’s poorest countries recover from climate change impacts. The Account will be made available as part of the Disasters Risk Insurance Pilot (DRIP) initiative, which is supported by the UK. The DRIP initiative will become a transnational financing mechanism with support for developing and implementing countries from developed countries including the UK.
“While we have made progress, progress is insufficient,” said the Secretary-General. “Governments must turn their political commitment into a higher, shared ambition that is backed by swift, effective and sustained action and financial commitments.”
By securing a fair global agreement for a future that is climate safe, the Secretary-General said today’s gathering will provide people and communities with greater certainty about their futures. “My full trust is behind the determination of the signatories of the Paris Agreement to face the challenge of climate change by working on a comprehensive and ambitious ‘Adaptation Agenda’ that will address the most pressing challenges posed by climate change, such as deforestation, the loss and damage of natural resources, water supply challenges, food insecurity and food security.”