Between 2011 and 2021, UK aid has supported 88 million people to cope with climate change, as well as improving 41 million people’s access to clean energy, according to new results published this week.

The UK’s International Climate Finance (ICF), totalling £11.6 billion over the next five years, helps developing countries limit and manage the impacts of climate change, mitigate further global warming from emissions and avert, minimise and address loss and damage.

The results come ahead of COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference, which the UK will host in Glasgow in November this year. World leaders will come together to agree on action to tackle the urgent threat of global climate change, with the UK making supporting vulnerable communities a priority in its presidency.

International Environment Minister Zac Goldsmith said:

Tackling climate change and protecting vulnerable communities and habitats is truly an international effort. I am proud of the impact that the UK’s International Climate Finance is having in developing countries around the world. By lending to climate friendly businesses in Latin America and the Caribbean, or preventing emissions and boosting biodiversity through the restoration of mangroves, forests, and other habitats, the UK is stepping up to tackle the greatest threats we all face.

COP26 represents a unique opportunity for more countries to come forward with ambitious financial commitments and urgent action to reduce emissions and protect and restore the natural world.

This week’s figures show that over the last ten years, UK funding has:

  • Provided 41 million people with improved access to clean energy, including connections to off-grid renewable energy sources, access to solar lanterns, or clean cookstoves;
  • Installed 2,400 MW of clean energy capacity, equivalent to 500 offshore wind turbines, capable of powering 1.8 million UK homes;
  • Avoided or reduced 180 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Leveraged £3.3 billion of private finance and £5.2 billion of public finance for climate change purposes.

Programmes like the Blue Forests initiative in Madagascar see UK funding support local communities, the private sector and government to protect over 20,000Ha of mangroves, as one of the most effective natural carbon stores on earth. This also provides invaluable storm protection and coastal erosion prevention.

UK funding has also supported the KaXu Solar One Concentrated Solar Power project in South Africa to use mirrors to reflect and concentrate the sun’s rays, generating enough energy to power 80,000 households and saving around 315,000 tonnes of CO2 – the equivalent to taking 66,000 cars off the road.

These results follow a week of climate talks among global leaders at the UN General Assembly in New York, where the UK Prime Minister committed new UK funding for global climate action, including a further boost the UK’s contribution to the $100 billion a year from 2020 goal for developed countries to support developing countries.

  • The International Climate Finance results can be found here.


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