UK ‘reneging’ on $300m climate fund commitment

With just days to go until the start of the United Nations COP27 climate summit in Egypt, the British government, which was president and host of COP26 last year in Glasgow, has been criticized for failing to make good on $300 million worth of climate finance payments it had promised. felt storage

Newly-installed British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had initially said he would not be attending the major gathering of world leaders because of more pressing political concerns at home, until he was forced into making a U-turn after being criticized by climate lobby groups, opposition politicians and members of his own government. felt storage basket

Now the Politico website reports that the government, which has been in turmoil with three prime ministers in the last two months, failed to meet its September deadline to donate $288 million to the Green Climate Fund, or GCF, a resource to help developing countries, many of which contribute least to climate change but feel its effects the most, to make adaptations to mitigate climate effect. An additional pledge of $20.6 million to the same fund has also not yet been forthcoming. wool felt

In the minutes of a recent GCF board meeting in South Korea, it was noted that three projects the fund had given approval to were currently unable to proceed because of a “lower volume of contributions from contributors than was anticipated”.

Clare Shakya, director of the International Institute for Environment and Development’s climate change group, called the government’s failure to honor its obligations “very, very poor timing”. wool felt

“This is in the context when COP26 was all about rebuilding trust,” she said.

“The UK has pushed every other country to up what they are doing to increase climate and adaptation funding. wool felt

“And now, even before COP27, the engineers of the trust-building exercise are reneging on their own promises. It’s such a strong negative signal to developing countries that they should not trust rich nations.”

Caroline Lucas, the only Green Party representative in the British Parliament, welcomed Sunak’s decision to go after what she called “an embarrassing misstep on the world stage”, and said it was important to send out a similarly positive message about the issue of climate payments.

“Let this be a lesson to (Sunak) — climate leadership matters,” she tweeted. “Now he urgently needs to increase UK ambition on emission reduction targets and pay what we owe to global climate funds.” wool felt

A year on from having hosted COP26, Britain is ending its presidency “weaker” and with “disappointing” leadership, Alyssa Gilbert, director of policy at Imperial College London’s Grantham Institute told the BBC, as summed up by Sunak’s U-turn.

“One of the key things about COP is political leadership from the top,” she said. “Dithering from the prime minister is worse in a year when we are the presidents of COP.”

Post time: Nov-07-2022
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