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UK pledges £1.6bn for international Green Climate Fund

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Britain has announced the country’s biggest single funding commitment aimed at tackling climate change.

During the G20 summit in New Delhi in India, the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced the UK would commit a record £1.6bn to the UN-backed Green Climate Fund. 

The investment is part of the country’s £11.6bn pledge for international projects that have a positive impact on climate change, and it would become the biggest single funding commitment the UK has made to date to help the world tackle climate change, a government statement said.

The fund was set up during COP15, becoming the largest global fund dedicated to channelling money needed by poor states to meet their targets to reduce carbon emissions and develop cleaner energy sources. 

“The UK is stepping up and delivering on our climate commitments, both by decarbonising our own economy and supporting the world’s most vulnerable to deal with the impact of climate change,” Sunak said. “This is the kind of leadership that the world rightly expects from G20 countries. And this government will continue to lead by example in making the UK, and the world, more prosperous and secure.”

The pledge represents a 12.7 per cent increase on the UK’s previous contribution to the fund. It also doubles the initial grant made to help establish the fund in 2014, the government said. 

The news also follows the government’s announcement at COP27 that the UK would triple its funding for climate adaptation.

Catherine Pettengell, executive director of Climate Action Network UK (CAN-UK), welcomed the new money but said “more is needed”.

“The urgency and scale of the climate crisis, and the devastating impacts it is having on communities and countries around the world, is yet to be matched by the necessary action,” she said. “The government must go further to rebuild global confidence in the UK as a climate leader, and a helpful step towards this would be to increase this contribution further at the pledging conference in October in advance of COP28.”

Climate expert Laimonas Noreika, CEO of HeavyFinance, said: “Tackling climate change must be a united global effort, and this major financial commitment will help tackle the huge challenges ahead. Businesses across all industries have a critical role to play – from financial services to agriculture, reducing emissions and going green should be a top priority for all organisations.”

During the summit, the G20 nations also adopted a wide-ranging declaration that affirmed their commitment to scale up sustainable finance to help developing countries reduce their carbon footprints.

The group said $5.8tn-$5.9tn is required by developing countries before 2030. 

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