CAFOD has welcomed Britain’s pledge to tackle climate change by increasing its contribution to the international Green Climate Fund (GCF).
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged to contribute £1.44bn to the Green Climate Fund between 2019 and 2023 at the G7 summit in Biarritz, France. This doubles the UK’s previous contribution of £720m between 2014 and 2019.
Neil Thorns, Director of Advocacy at Catholic aid agency CAFOD, said: “We are pleased to see the UK announce an increase in its contribution to the Green Climate Fund. It is vital to encourage others to follow suit.”
The 2015 Paris Climate Agreement stated that rich countries should help poorer nations by providing “climate finance” to adapt to climate change and switch to renewable energy.
Current GCF projects are estimated to help 300 million people cope with the effects of climate change and remove the equivalent of 1.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Replenishing the GCF fund was a priority at the G7 summit. The UK joins France, Germany and Norway in doubling their initial contributions to the GCF.
Following the announcement, Business and Energy Secretary Andrea Leadsom said: “The UK is leading the world in a fight against climate change. Having committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050, we have a responsibility to help other countries do the same.”
Mr Thorns told The Catholic Universe that the UK government must ensure “the GCF delivers for the most vulnerable communities.” Despite the financial contributions, a gap remains between what was pledged and what is needed to help developing countries tackle climate change.
A target by rich countries to give $100bn a year by 2020 to help vulnerable countries cope with climate change is currently not being met.
The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) told Climate Home News that “to even credibly approximate the goal of $100bn, both our development partners and the private sector must act decisively.”
“The rapidly narrowing window of opportunity for effective climate action demands greater ambition and swift ramping up of contributions from other larger emitters,” AOSIS said.
Looking to the future, Mr Thorns underlined the need for the UK to be at the forefront in the fight against climate change.
“We look forward to the UK demonstrating further ambition and leadership ahead of upcoming climate, environment and development summits,” he said.
Picture: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attend a working lunch on August 26 2019 during the G7 summit in Biarritz, France. (CNS photo/Jeff J Mitchell, pool via Reuters)