Press release

Prime Minister urges fellow leaders to back climate change deal

David Cameron underlines UK support for climate change with ambitious funding deal announced in New York.

The Prime Minister will urge fellow leaders to work together to secure an ambitious global climate change deal in Paris when he speaks at a working lunch of leaders at the UN in New York later today (Sunday).

Demonstrating the UK’s commitment to achieving a deal, the Prime Minister will announce that the government will increase by at least 50% its financial support for cleaner, greener growth and for measures to help the world’s poorest adapt to climate change.

The government will provide £5.8 billion from the existing 0.7% official development assistance (ODA) budget to the International Climate Fund between April 2016 and March 2021, including at least £1.76 billion in 2020 – ensuring that the UK plays its part in achieving the goal of mobilising $100 billion of climate finance a year by 2020 and over the lifetime of the projects we support leveraging nearly as much again in private finance.

Speaking ahead of the UN meeting, the Prime Minister said:

Back in January, I said 2015 should be the year we tackle extreme poverty and climate change. These two things go together and both have the potential to give security to future generations to come. So I’m delighted that this weekend we are adopting clear Global Goals to eradicate extreme poverty in the next 15 years but we can’t end poverty and promote sustainable development without addressing climate change.

That’s why it is so important that we secure an ambitious, global deal in Paris later this year that keeps our goal of limiting global warming by 2050 to 2 degrees within reach. The UK is determined to play its part, not just by cutting our emissions at home but by providing support overseas to those who need it, particularly the poorest and most vulnerable.

That’s why we will increase the amount of aid we spend on climate finance over the next 5 years, helping communities around the world become more resilient to flooding and drought and providing clean, reliable energy. That energy not only keeps the lights on, it also improves health and education, spurs economic growth and creates jobs.

The UN Secretary General is convening today’s meeting on climate change alongside President Hollande of France and President Humala of Peru. Around 30 leaders, including many from the G20 countries, are expected to attend.

The discussion is expected to focus on 3 key issues:

  • ensuring that the Paris agreement sets outs a long term vision of setting out a long term vision of the transformation of the global economy towards a climate resilient, low carbon emissions future
  • scaling up and unlocking capital for climate finance
  • increasing concrete action on the ground to tackle climate change

The government remains committed to aiming to spend 50% of climate finance on adaptation and 50% on mitigation. The new package of climate finance will drive poverty reduction and catalyse the shift to low carbon, resilient development in low and middle income countries by:

  • helping countries manage risk and build resilience to damaging effects of climate change
  • preventing emissions and creating jobs through low carbon growth
  • ensuring sustainable management of natural resources, such as forests

UK climate finance to date has helped over 15 million people to cope with the effects of climate change and improved access to clean energy for almost 2.6 million people.

Support for low-income countries is a key component of the climate talks and vital to securing a new global deal in Paris that will represent a turning point in the fight against climate change and send out a strong signal for low carbon industries across the world.

Notes to editors

  1. The UK’s International Climate Fund was set up in 2011 to reduce deforestation, cut carbon emissions and help people in the developing world to become more resilient to the impact of extreme weather events – for example by through flood protection, water harvesting and early warning systems.

  2. Funding for the International Climate Fund between April 2011 and March 2016 was £3.87 billion.

  3. At the Convention of the Parties conference in Copenhagen in 2009, developed countries committed to a goal of jointly mobilising $100 billion of climate finance a year by 2020 from public, private bilateral and multilateral, including alternative sources of finance.

  4. The UK is on track to cut emissions by 80% by 2050 and we have agreed to the EU position at the COP in Paris of a binding, economy-wide, domestic greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of at least 40% by 2030. View the 2030 climate & energy framework.