News story

UK passes £1bn fast start climate finance milestone

06 December 2011 More than two thirds of £1.5bn “fast start” commitment allocated New projects announced to help the most vulnerable people…

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

06 December 2011

  • More than two thirds of £1.5bn “fast start” commitment allocated
  • New projects announced to help the most vulnerable people in Africa

The UK has allocated more than two thirds of its Fast Start Finance, which is helping the poorest and most vulnerable to adapt to climate change, putting it well on track to meet its £1.5bn commitment by the end of 2012.

Developed countries pledged to provide approaching $30 billion of Fast Start Finance between 2010-12 at the Copenhagen climate talks in 2009, with the UK contributing £1.5bn.

Fast Start finance for 2011 and 2012 is funded from the UK government’s £2.9bn International Climate Fund (ICF). The ICF aims to help developing countries tackle climate change and adapt to the effects of global warming.

UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary The Rt Hon Chris Huhne MP said:

“We promised we’d be the greenest government ever both at home and abroad and passing the £1bn milestone shows the UK’s commitment to helping developing countries tackle and cope with the effects of global warming.

“Africa is one of the areas which will feel the impacts of climate change first which is why we’re helping its people adapt to a warmer world and not become reliant on dirty fossil fuels.

“Climate change is the greatest challenge of the 21st century so we have a moral responsibility to help the poorest countries respond. This not only benefits the most vulnerable but also helps all of us move towards a safer and cleaner future.”

Revealed today, as part of the previously announced £1.5bn “fast start” commitment, a financial package for Africa to help some of the most vulnerable people including:

  • £150m to fund the Clean Technology Fund, which will make it possible to support projects such as low carbon public transport systems and promote energy efficiency in Nigeria. It is expected these projects will save 47 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent and will help leverage further private investment;
  • £38m to help unlock $300m to help farmers in Eastern and Southern Africa adapt to climate change. Rainfall in these areas is often unpredictable and scarce leaving around 45 million homes not knowing if there’ll be food to put on the table. Predictions suggest this could get worse if climate change is not tackled. The £38m is expected to help 250,000 farmers on small holdings adapt the way they farm to get the most from the land, a 10% increase in farmed land and 20% more food produced;.
  • £27.6m to improve access to 7,200 poverty-stricken rural households currently unconnected to the grid in Eastern and Southern Africa and making low carbon energy accessible to thousands more homes. Southern Africa has some of the lowest levels of modern energy access in the world, with more than 75% of the urban population and 90% of the rural population without access to electricity. This programme will support low carbon private sector development through awarding co-financing to viable projects focusing on improving energy access for poor people, improving energy supply and energy efficiency by demonstrating new technologies.
  • £15m to develop Ethiopia’s ability to respond to climate change. Through a challenge fund and an innovation centre for small businesses, UK aid will help Ethiopia build on its climate institutions and skills. Our support has already helped Ethiopia develop an ambitious national strategy on climate change;
  • And £6.7m to catalyse further investment in climate adaptation programmes in Kenya.

Also announced today, as part of the “fast start” commitment, is a further package of support to help people from developing countries across the world adapt to the effects of climate change:

  • £10m for the UN Adaptation Fund to directly help around 70,000 people in developing countries cope with effects of global warming, for example putting in place extreme weather early warning systems, improving water management, irrigation and sewage systems and raising key buildings on stilts;
  • £30m for the Least Developed Countries Fund to address the special needs of the 48 Least Developed Countries (LDCs), which are especially vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change;
  • £85m for the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR) to enable vulnerable countries and regions (including Mozambique, Nepal, Zambia, Tajikistan, Bolivia, Cambodia, Caribbean and Pacific) to implement the priorities they identified through their Strategic Plans for Climate Resilience. For example, UK funding in Nepal will help develop weather forecasting, early warning systems and improved access to credit and insurance in vulnerable communities that, particularly for women, can lessen the impact of climate-related disasters. In Mozambique the PPCR will improve agricultural productivity through climate resilient technologies, irrigation and reduced soil salinity. These results are important in a country where food supplies are thought to be scarce for 35% of the population.

Notes to Editors:

  1. The UK has produced a Fast Start brochure highlighting projects which have been helped already. A copy can be downloaded from the international climate finance page and a video showing some examples of UK climate funding can also be viewed on the same page.
  2. The UK has also published a brochure outlining spend under the International Climate Fund (ICF), a copy of which can be downloaded from the international climate finance page
  3. The ICF budget is part of the Overseas Development Aid allocation, which will be 0.7% of the UK’s Gross National Income from 2013.
Published 6 December 2011