Aid funding must recognise climate change emergency, say MPs

08 May 2019 by 0 Comment Read for you 95 Views
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The British government’s aid spending is failing to recognise the “scale and urgency” of the climate change challenge facing the world, MPs warn. Climate change must be placed at the centre of aid strategy and funding, if it is to address the seriousness of threats facing developing countries,

the committee said. It urged a minimum spend of £1.76bn annually and a halt to funding fossil fuel projects in developing countries, unless they can demonstrate they support transition to zero emissions by 2050.

The report highlighted “incoherent policy” by, showing the government spent £4.8bn on support for fossil fuel projects in 2010-16 via UK Export Finance, almost matching the £4.9bn spent on its International Climate Fund in a similar period, 2011-17. It has created a situation where “the UK government is providing climate aid with one hand and exporting the UK’s fossil fuel pollution with the other”, the report found. Ban Ki-moon, the former UN secretary general, urged Britain to stop funding fossil fuels overseas earlier this year.

Committee chair Stephen Twigg urged the UK to show leadership on the issue. “We cannot simply reflect on what we do at home and think that will be enough. We must look at how we can provide the best support to those nations that will face the most serious consequences of climate change yet have done little to cause it,” he said.

“The UK should be in the vanguard of efforts to help prepare the world’s poorest for the extreme consequences of climate change, and it must go hand-in-hand with current programmes to alleviate poverty. We need radical action that places climate change front and centre of all aid spending and policy decisions, and dedicated financing to give it teeth.

“The crisis facing us is extreme and we need action from the government now.”

The warnings come after a stark UN assessment of the decline of the Earth’s natural life support systems, caused by human activity.

Britain’s support to the fossil fuel economy in developing nations is damaging the coherence of its climate change strategy and must be “urgently rectified” the report said. It found the Department for International Development (DfID) had “failed to set an example” to other aid spending departments on how climate change should be mainstreamed. It expressed concern over evidence that DfID’s capacity and expertise had been lost in recent years. “This situation should be urgently rectified,” it said. It criticised the Prosperity fund for not incorporating climate change into its strategies.

The IDC’s report on climate change, concluded the effectiveness of aid spending is “dependent on whether the international community rapidly and effectively combats the cause and impacts of the problem”.

“The challenge is huge, it is existential, and there is very little time. The severity of the situation simply cannot be overstated,” it found.

It is “disconcerting” that there does not appear to be an active strategy underpinning the government’s international climate finance spending and “further alarming” that climate change does not appear to be fully integrated across other aid strategies, it said.

Dr Sarah Wykes, lead climate analyst at CAFOD, said: “This report highlights a desperate need for far greater consistency across government spending when it comes to tackling climate change overseas as well as at home and for a more joined up approach to the UK’s aid spending. There’s an enormous disparity between what the UK says it will do to tackle climate change and the amount the government then spends supporting fossil fuels overseas, and the IDC is clear that needs to change.”

 

Source: theguardian

Brou Bertrand

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