Rising sea levels in Lagos, Nigeria

UK commits funding to overseas climate projects

Renewable power schemes in Africa and sustainable farming in Colombia are among the projects receiving funding from the UK.

The money is part of £1.8 billion the UK is committed to spending to help poor countries deal with climate change and develop cleanly from now up to 2015.

Some £98 million will go as loans to a scheme which aims to stimulate private sector investment in renewable energy, to save 3.9 million tonnes of carbon and improve clean power supplies to millions of people in Africa.

The UK is also contributing £14 million in grants to support subsidies for small scale renewable energy projects in Uganda.

In Colombia, a £15 million grant will promote farming systems which improve degraded grazing land by methods such as planting trees and shrubs, which will save carbon emissions, protect local forests and improve the livelihoods of farmers.

And £21 million will go towards helping 18 million people get secure and sustainable access to drinking water, sanitation, irrigation and flood protection in the face of climate change.

The government also said it will have delivered a pledged £1.5 billion by the end of the year, as the UK's share of "fast start finance" provided to help poor countries cope with climate change over three years to 2012.

And the UK is committed to delivering its fair share of the global long term goal of providing public and private finance of $100 billion (£60 billion) a year by 2020, Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said.

In chaotic UN climate talks in Copenhagen in 2009, rich countries pledged to provide $10 billion (£6 billion) a year over three years as fast start finance, with a promise to scale up to $100 billion a year by 2020.

But with the fast start period ending, there have been little in the way of pledges for further money to help developing countries grow sustainably and deal with the impacts of climate change such as floods and droughts.

Speaking at this year's UN climate talks in Doha, Qatar, Davey said: "Climate change is a global threat and with every passing year, the nature and the extent of that threat grows clearer.

"We also recognise that the world's poorest will be hit the hardest by the impacts of of climate change, and we need to help communities adapt to these challenges.

"Climate finance is fundamental to building resilience and capacity for countries to mitigate and adapt to climate change."

Campaigners welcomed the announcement of £1.8 billion funding from the UK and called for other countries to make commitments for finance to help poor nations deal with climate change.

Ruth Davis from Greenpeace said: "Credit where credit is due - by pledging to provide £1.8 billion between now and 2015, the UK government is one of the few nations putting real money against their commitment to help the countries hit hardest by climate change.

"We now need to see that delivered on the ground.

"Ed Davey has laid down a financial gauntlet to other developed nations to show how they plan to keep their promise of giving 100 billion US dollars a year to support the poorest nations and their citizens coping with the worst affects of climate change by 2020, made just three years ago in Copenhagen."

Oxfam climate change policy adviser Tracy Carty said: "At last, a developed country has finally made a pledge for future climate finance here in Doha. The UK has taken a step forward, now we eagerly await other developed nations to follow suit.

"While the details remain hazy and need to be clarified this week, Oxfam is pleased that the UK has stated in Doha that they will be increasing their climate finance next year.

"The UK has already budgeted climate finance up until 2015, so we urge them to provide their pledges for the whole period as developing countries urgently need reassurances about long term finance levels.

"While we welcome unilateral pledges, what crucially needs to happen here in Doha is a collective commitment by all developed countries that climate finance will increase from next year."

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