Achim Steiner, the UN’s development chief, has urged the UK Government to take the lead in giving poor countries access to the necessary finance needed to tackle climate change.
Many developing countries are experiencing the impacts of climate change at alarmingly increasing rates. This includes devastating issues including flooding, drought and extreme temperatures. These countries are also facing challenges caused by the COVID-19 adding to mounting financial pressures.
On 31 March, Ministers from around the world will meet virtually to discuss the needs of developing nations, hosted by the UK and co-chaired by COP President Alok Sharma and Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab. The Climate and Development Ministerial will bring together countries and partners to focus on mitigating the impacts of climate change, debt relief and access to finance.
Helping developing countries access finance to invest in a green agenda and to aid recovery will reduce global emissions thereby benefitting all countries globally. Ahead of COP26 the UK has cut overseas aid from 0.7 percent of GDP to 0.5 percent a year. Steiner has warned that this sends a mixed signal and will discourage developing countries from coming to the table.
Ahead of this weeks meeting climate activists have called on the UK Government to restore the overseas aid budget, warning that failure to do so would undermine the UK’s credibility as hosts of COP26.
“Climate change is a global issue. Emissions created by one wealthy country cause rising sea levels and land loss in developing nations. Global consumer demands lead to deforestation in the Amazon with products produced from its precious palm oil. It’s all connected. Climate change is everyone’s responsibility and must be a collective effort. As a wealthy country that suffers lightly from climate change, we must support those that don’t have this privilege. As we look ahead to COP26, the Government must step up, assume a leadership position, and drive the global effort against climate change.”
Isla Tweed, Account Executive