Climate change is already affecting the world’s poorest countries. For example, changing rainfall patterns contribute to more frequent and severe flooding in Bangladesh or drought and crop failure in African countries like Ethiopia and Kenya.

As well as being the first to be affected, the poorest are also hit hardest because they are less equipped to cope with the effects of climate change.

We need to help poor countries adapt to climate change so that they can continue to develop and lift themselves out of poverty.


The government has set up the International Climate Fund (ICF) to provide £3.87 billion between April 2011 and March 2015 to help the world’s poorest adapt to climate change and promote cleaner, greener growth.

To help poor countries prepare for and deal with the impact of climate change, we’re:

We’re also taking international action to mitigate climate change, including:

  • supporting developing countries to invest in clean technologies
  • working to stop deforestation and improve the livelihoods of people who depend on forests
  • attending major international conferences on climate change, including the UN climate negotiations, in order to influence decision makers and secure positive outcomes for the world’s poorest people


We all depend on a healthy environment, but it’s the world’s poorest people and the world’s poorest countries – those who are also least responsible - that have most to lose from climate change. Long before the creation of the International Climate Fund, we’ve been taking account of the impact of climate change in our overseas aid programmes and have been funding projects which directly help the poorest people to deal with these impacts.

At the UN Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen in 2009, developed countries committed to provide $30 billion - known as Fast Start finance - from 2010 to 2012 to help developing countries mitigate climate change and deal with the impacts. The UK government provided £1.5 billion from 2010 to 2012.