Policy paper

2010 to 2015 government policy: climate change international action

Updated 8 May 2015

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

This is a copy of a document that stated a policy of the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government. The previous URL of this page was https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/taking-international-action-to-mitigate-climate-change. Current policies can be found at the GOV.UK policies list.


If the global average temperature rises more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels, significant negative impacts of climate change will be more likely and the cost of managing them will rise sharply.

The industrial revolution led to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activity. The Earth’s surface has consequently warmed by about 0.8°C since around 1900, with much of this warming occurring in the past 50 years.

To have a 50% chance of keeping climate change to within 2°C of pre-industrial levels, global greenhouse gas emissions need to peak before 2020 and then decline steeply. The UK can’t make this happen on its own - the government has to work at an international level to make sure all countries do what is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


We are:

  • encouraging the EU to demonstrate leadership on climate change
  • negotiating for a comprehensive global climate change agreement
  • reducing the impact of climate change in developing countries and the overseas territories
  • providing £3.87 billion through the International Climate Fund to help developing countries mitigate and adapt to climate change
  • financially supporting developing countries through REDD+ to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation
  • leading the diplomatic effort to mitigate climate change
  • building an evidence base to understand and predict climate change


In response to scientific evidence that climate change is happening and mainly due to increasing greenhouse gases emitted as a result of human activity, the UN negotiated a treaty at its Conference on Environment and Development in 1992. This treaty is known as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the UK is one of the 195 parties to it.

Parties to the convention meet annually at the Conference of the Parties (COP).

1972: Conference on the Human Environment, Stockholm – foundation of the UN Environment Programme

This was the first big global environment conference to co-ordinate international policy. Of the UN’s 132 member states, 114 participated. At the conference the 26 Principles were agreed, to inspire and guide the world on the preservation and enhancement of the human environment. The conference also agreed the founding of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), an international institution to co-ordinate the environmental activities of the UN.

1992: Earth Summit, Rio de Janeiro – agreement of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

Also known as the UN Conference on Environment and Development, this saw 172 UN member states meet to agree further measures to halt environmental degradation and pollution 20 years after the Stockholm conference. The parties reached a number of agreements and founded new mechanisms for taking international discussions forward. They also agreed the UNFCCC, under the auspices of which international negotiations on climate change continue today.

1997: Conference of the Parties 3 (COP 3), Kyoto – agreement of the Kyoto Protocol

COP 3 took place in Kyoto, Japan, in 1997. The parties agreed the Kyoto Protocol, which set legally binding targets for developed countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions for the first time. The protocol came into force on 16 February 2005. In addition to setting targets for emissions reduction, the Kyoto Protocol also allows for ‘flexible mechanisms’ such as emissions trading, which lets countries with emissions reduction targets purchase greenhouse gas emissions reductions credits from other countries. This effectively allows emissions reductions to take place wherever it is most cost effective for them to occur.

Further information on how global negotiations to mitigate climate change have progressed to date.

Appendix 1: contributing to international climate change adaptation funds

This was a supporting detail page of the main policy document.

We contribute to international adaptation funds that work to help developing countries adapt to climate change.

Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience

The UK is providing £325 million to the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience, one of the programmes under the Climate Investment Funds. The programme delivers at scale to a targeted number of countries for maximum impact. It is supporting countries and regions in developing holistic adaptation programmes, such as drought resistant crops, improved irrigation systems, the redesign of water storage infrastructure, flood protection or hydropower. It pilots new approaches to adaptation in some of the most vulnerable countries in the world.
For example, in Nepal, UK funding will help with development of 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.

Least Developed Countries Fund

The UK has provided £30 million to the Least Developed Countries Fund. The fund helps vulnerable countries prepare and implement National Adaptation Programmes of Action, that help the poorest and most vulnerable adapt to their immediate climate change needs. A $3.5 million project in Bhutan to reduce the hazards of glacial lake outburst floods, an imminent climate change risk in the country, has allowed for development of disaster management plans in 104 of 150 target groups of villages and the preparation of disaster plans at district levels. In addition a draft Disaster Management Bill was approved by the National Assembly and the National Council in 2012, contributing towards a suitable policy environment for a long term disaster risk management in the country.

Adaptation Fund

The UK has contributed £10 million to the Adaptation Fund. A $9 million project in Senegal has supported the construction of a 3,300 meter anti-salt dyke to reclaim lands in an area affected by salinity which was forcing women to abandon rice fields where rice cultivation is a traditional activity, typically undertaken by women. The project has also allowed a 730 meter protection dyke to be built which will protect houses that are being threatened by coastal erosion, a problem which affects the town’s historical heritage as well as schools and the local cemetery

Appendix 2: leading the diplomatic effort to mitigate climate change

This was a supporting detail page of the main policy document.

The government is working with other countries to build an understanding of the threats posed by climate change and the opportunities for action. We build capacity for action by funding practical projects that match the priorities of different countries to the areas we have expertise in. We also share information about what the UK is doing to mitigate climate change.

Practical projects

We are working on 200 projects that aim to:

  • share UK expertise
  • help countries build capacity to act against climate change
  • build confidence in various countries to sign up to an international agreement

We are focusing on countries like India, China and Brazil because their decisions on climate policy will have a significant impact on global greenhouse gas emissions in coming decades.


We are working on a range of different climate change issues according to the needs and opportunities presented in individual countries.

Working on low carbon growth with China

In January 2011 we signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Low Carbon Co-operation with China. With a view to supporting the Chinese government’s strategy to promote low carbon development in China, this partnership pairs the UK with 3 of China’s low carbon zones to support the development of:

  • emissions trading schemes
  • low carbon product standards
  • low carbon and sustainable planning for urban and industrial development

We also have a Memorandum of Understanding on Climate Change with China that enables us to work on a wide range of projects to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change with various partners at national, provincial and city levels.

These have included work identifying the barriers to carbon capture, utilisation and storage in China, analysis of potential for wind power development, planning and design of eco-cities, and the development of a Chinese version of the 2050 Pathways Calculator.

Sharing experience on climate change legislation in Mexico

In April 2012 Mexico adopted climate change legislation that is closely modelled on our Climate Change Act. Denmark, Sweden and Ireland are also about to introduce legislation modelled on our climate change policy.

Collaborating on emissions trading policy with South Korea

South Korea’s emission trading scheme, announced in May 2012, is the first of its kind in Asia. It was encouraged by policy collaboration with the UK.

Highlighting the security implications of climate change

In March 2012 the UK hosted an international conference on the security implications of climate change. This emphasised the price we will pay for inaction on climate change.

Helping developing countries

We have set up the International Climate Fund (ICF) to help developing countries take action against climate change and adapt to the effects of global warming. We will spend £2.9 billion on this fund between 2011 and 2015.


We support the goal of a 2°C limit on global warming, as agreed at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in 2009. To meet this goal the current rise in global carbon emissions needs to be reversed and start to fall by 2020.

Global emissions need to be reduced by at least 50% of 1990 levels by the middle of the century. A study by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) shows that achieving this reduction is technologically and economically possible if governments act now.

Appendix 3: helping developing countries to adapt

This was a supporting detail page of the main policy document.

The world’s climate and weather patterns are changing. Global temperatures are rising, contributing to more extreme weather events, like flooding and heatwaves.

‘Adaptation’ involves changing the way we do things to prepare for the potential impacts of climate change. This means we will be better protected against negative impacts like flooding. It also means we’ll be better prepared for new opportunities, like the chance to grow different crops.

The earlier we adapt, the less it will cost and the better equipped we will be to cope with potential changes in our climate.

Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme

We are providing up to £150 million to the International Fund for Agriculture Development’s Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP).

ASAP will work in approximately 40 developing countries, investing in practices and knowledge sharing to support smallholder farmers adapt, for example, through small scale water-harvesting and storage, flood protection, irrigation systems, agroforestry, and conservation agriculture.

The UK’s support is expected to directly benefit 6 million smallholder farmers cope with the impacts of climate change and at the same time increase their incomes.

South Asia Water Governance Programme

We’re providing £23.5 million from 2012 to 2017 to the South Asia Water Governance Programme.

The programme is jointly funded by the UK, Australia, Norway, the World Bank, and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development. It’s helping countries work together to manage the Himalayan rivers for the benefit of 500 million people who live in the river basins.

Chars Livelihoods Programme

In Bangladesh, we’re investing £73 million in the Chars Livelihoods Programme between 2009 and 2016.

The programme is working to help the extreme poor – especially women – build livelihoods that are more resilient to climate change. Between 2009 and 2013, the programme has helped to raise 67,000 homes onto earth platforms, protecting hundreds of thousands of people and their possessions from severe monsoon floods.

Appendix 4: encouraging the EU to demonstrate leadership on climate change

This was a supporting detail page of the main policy document.

Working together

Action at EU level is critical to achieving our climate change objectives. EU-level agreement is the best way of ensuring all EU Member States cut their emissions, and of enhancing our collective contribution to mitigating climate change.

The EU is also our best route to global influence. If countries within the EU are to have credibility in negotiations we need to engage as a group, not just as individual Member States. Read what the EU is doing about climate change.

In February 2013, the Secretary of State, Edward Davey, initiated the Green Growth Group (GGG). The GGG is a like-minded group of EU Energy and Climate Ministers brought together to make the economic and strategic case for EU climate ambition. The GGG now includes 13 Member States, including France and Germany that meet regularly at Ministerial and official level. The group reaches out to businesses and has set up a wider Green Growth Platform of businesses and experts.

Climate Change Ambition

The European Council has agreed that the EU should reduce its emissions by 80-95% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels as part of similar efforts by developed countries as a group.

In 2007, EU leaders agreed a set of climate and energy targets to be met by 2020.These are:

  • 20% reduction in EU greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels;
  • 20% of EU energy consumed to come from renewable sources and;
  • 20% reduction in primary energy use compared with projected levels, through improving energy efficiency  

EU 2030 Climate and Energy Framework

On the 24 October 2014 , European Leaders agreed to a clear set of climate and energy targets for 2030 in European Council. These are:

  • an at least 40% domestic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990;
  • a share of at least 27% for renewable energy consumed at EU-level in2030, which will not be binding on individual Member States
  • an indicative target of at least 27% for improved energy efficiency at EU level in 2030

Further information

Appendix 5: scientific evidence to help us understand climate change

This was a supporting detail page of the main policy document.

The earth’s climate is changing. This change is being driven by human activity. Scientists overwhelmingly agree this is the case. Without action, the impacts of this change will be damaging and potentially catastrophic. Climate change poses a major risk to the UK’s citizens and economy, as well as the wider world. More information on the science of climate change can be found on the ‘climate change explained’ page.

We use climate science to inform international negotiations to avoid dangerous climate change, as well as the UK’s own targets of an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The UK Government is taking action though a range of polices to achieve our targets. We also need to understand climate change in order to protect ourselves from the worst of the impacts.

A definition of climate change

A formal definition of climate change is:

“A change in the statistical characteristics of the atmosphere (such as temperature, rainfall, pressure, or winds), oceans (such as heat content or sea level rise), cryosphere (such as extent of sea ice or length of glaciers) or land surface (such as changes in vegetation type) typically sustained over several decades or longer. A change in climate may be due to natural or anthropogenic (i.e. due to human activity) factors, or a combination of both.”

Human-induced climate change is the current, past and future change in climate being driven by greenhouse gas emissions and other human activities, such as deforestation.

When Government talks about “climate change policy”, or action to “tackle climate change”, we are talking about climate change mitigation and adaptation. Adaptation is taking steps to minimise exposure to damaging impacts of climate change, and to build resilience and reduce vulnerability to a changing climate. Mitigation is taking steps to minimise the scale of global temperature rise by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and taking other steps, such as planting more forests.

Our work

Met Office Hadley Centre (MOHC)

Government funds the Met Office Hadley Centre (MOHC) Climate Programme, a world-leading programme of climate research and modelling.

The programme works with research councils, UK academic centres and collaborators worldwide, to build the scientific evidence that informs our policy and decision making. This includes analysis of earth observations, computer based models, climate change predictions, and assessments of the extent to which human activities have contributed to extreme weather and climate events.

DECC Earth Observations Strategy

Observing the real world is important for understanding how and why our climate is changing, and for developing better climate models. The DECC Earth Observations Strategy seeks to ensure cost-effective access to the data that is needed for climate modeling and to develop climate policy. DECC co-funds some important earth observations including:

  • the international ‘Argo’ programme, which deploys more than 3000 submersible floats that measure salinity, current velocity and temperature in the global oceans;
  • the satellite-based Along-Track Scanning Radiometer (ATSR) and Jason-3 programmes for measuring sea surface temperature and sea level respectively
  • four atmospheric greenhouse gas monitoring sites (three are in the UK and one in the Republic of Ireland), where the data are used to monitor trends, verify greenhouse gas inventories and contribute to scientific understanding of the build-up of concentrations in the atmosphere.

Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change Programme (AVOID)

DECC funds AVOID to provide evidence to inform mitigation and adaptation strategies for avoiding dangerous climate change. This evidence is delivered by a group of leading UK research institutes comprising:

We support the assessment of the impacts of climate change to advise on appropriate levels of emission reductions and to underpin adaptation strategies.

We have delivered climate impact assessments for 25 key economies, which were presented at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties in Durban in 2011, and bilateral projects with India and China on impacts and adaptation.

UK Greenhouse Gas Inventory

We manage annual compilation of the UK greenhouse gas inventory, which is produced according to IPCC guidelines and is used to monitor the UK’s progress against the Kyoto Protocol.

It is used to show whether or not the UK is on track to meet its legally binding carbon budgets set under the Climate Change Act 2008, on the basis of advice from the Climate Change Committee (CCC).

UK Greenhouse Gas Inventory

UK emissions statistics

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

Our scientists support and co-ordinate UK input into the IPCC, a body set up to give governments the most up-to-date assessments of the scientific, technical and socio-economic aspects of climate change. These assessments inform domestic climate policy and the UK position in international climate negotiations.

Other work we’re supporting

We are:

  • supporting NERC in studying the crucial consequences of climate change, including those on ocean acidification and the Arctic environment, which are very likely to impact on the UK in coming decades.
  • commissioning work into the possible impacts of a changing climate on UK and European wind regimes, solar energy and other renewable energy sources
  • working with international partners on forestry projections and the monitoring, reporting and verification needed for climate negotiations
  • funding desk-based research into the environmental impacts of geo-engineering proposals to counter climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions
  • supporting global research on the governance of geo-engineering and working with NERC and MOHC to identify knowledge gaps in our understanding of the technology

Climate change statistics

Appendix 6: negotiating for a comprehensive global climate change agreement

This was a supporting detail page of the main policy document.

We want to agree an international deal to cut emissions that is consistent with limiting global temperature increases to 2°C. We also want to help countries adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change. For these reasons, we take part in international negotiations on climate change that are working towards an international agreement.

The negotiations are formally conducted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The parties to the convention meet annually at the Conference of the Parties (COP).

Summary of the UNFCCC’s role

Background information on the UNFCCC

At COP 17 in Durban in 2011, all parties agreed to adopt a new agreement no later than 2015 and for it to come into force from 2020.

Previous Conferences of the Parties

Conference of the Parties 19, Warsaw 2013

The final deal in Warsaw was a carefully balanced package comprising three main elements:

  1. Durban Platform. Parties agreed the next steps to Paris, including: the need for countries to begin domestic preparations for their contributions to the new deal; the expectation that all major economies will propose initial contributions by the first quarter of 2015 with agreed information accompanying these; and that a draft negotiating text for the new deal will be ready by next year’s COP in Lima. In addition, Parties agreed to enhance work to reduce emissions pre2020.
  2. Finance. Parties agreed a set of operational and policy agreements, including: a timetable to initial capitalisation of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) in 2014; and a new process for assessing progress in scaling up climate finance to $100bn per year from 2020.
  3. Loss & Damage. Parties adopted a new institutional arrangement for loss and damage - the ‘Warsaw Mechanism’ under the Cancun Adaptation Framework. It will be reviewed in 2016.

Beyond these three end-game Decisions, Parties agreed significant packages on measuring, reporting and verification (MRV) of emissions reductions in every country and on the rules and finance for addressing deforestation.

Previous COP conferences

Near negotiation processes

In addition to formal international negotiations on climate change, the UK also works within a number of informal or ‘near negotiation’ processes where climate change issues are discussed.

Examples of near negotiation forums include:

Appendix 7: reducing emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+)

This was a supporting detail page of the main policy document.

Forests have a critical role as carbon stores and they influence water, climate and weather systems. They build countries’ resilience to extreme weather events and help people adapt to a changing climate. Around 1.2 billion poor people directly depend on forests for their livelihoods. Forests are also home to an estimated 80% of the world’s species.

In 2013, the Physical Science Basis to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimated that net CO2 emissions from land-use change, mainly deforestation, represent about 10% of the total anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

REDD+ is a mechanism designed under the United National Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to financially support developing countries that are willing and able to reduce emissions from deforestation and invest in low carbon paths to sustainable development.

UK support for REDD+

Addressing deforestation is a priority for the UK’s £3.87 billion International Climate Fund (ICF). The ICF aims for a balanced allocation between adaptation, low carbon development and forestry. To date the ICF has allocated over £500m to programmes which address deforestation.

The UK’s ICF is managed by:

REDD+ projects

Multilateral programmes help the UK use its public funds to leverage more money from other donors. REDD+ funding from the UK covers the following programmes administered by multilateral organisations:

  • Climate Investment Funds’ Forest Investment Programme (£100 million) – administered by the World Bank to help 8 countries scale up investments in action against deforestation
  • Congo Basin Forest Fund (£50 million) – administered by the African Development Bank to help the 10 countries of the Congo Basin improve their forest management
  • Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (£3.5 million to the FCPF Readiness Fund and £56.5 million to the FCPF Carbon Fund) – administered by the World Bank to help 47 countries reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation.
  • BioCarbon Fund (£75 million) – administered by the World Bank, the fund aims to bring together a number of land-use projects across a larger area to achieve a bigger, landscape sized, transformation. The approach targets opportunities that sequester or conserve carbon in forest and agro-ecosystems while promoting biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation.

We also support forestry and land-management projects through direct or bilateral relationships with other countries. Our bilateral programmes help countries address the causes of deforestation by:

  • improving the way forests are governed and landscapes managed
  • enhancing community access to resources that support better livelihoods
  • working to stop illegal logging and related corruption
  • influencing consumer behaviour to change the markets for timber and other commodities associated with deforestation
  • supporting best practice knowledge on these issues

Current UK bilateral programmes include:

  • £15 million low-carbon agricultural project with Colombia – will help cattle farmers plant trees on cattle-grazing land to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect forests, increase biodiversity and improve livelihoods - you can read our case study about the programme in Colombia
  • £20 million Forestry Knowledge and Tools (KnowFor) initiative – supports good practice forest management by working with leading international think tanks to influence policy and decision makers
  • £20 million Nepal Multi-Stakeholder Forestry Programme – reduces rural poverty and maintains healthy ecosystems by helping local communities manage their forests
  • £25 million to help Indonesia improve accountability for land use decisions, manage corruption in the system for issuing plantation and mining permits, and support spatial planning in Papua for sustainable economic development in Indonesia’s last undisturbed forest
  • £60 million for the new Investments in Forests and Sustainable Land Use initiative. This new UK programme aims to encourage businesses to join the fight against deforestation. It will form a number of innovative public-private partnerships with communities, local farmers and local and international businesses including UK companies, to manage forests sustainably and support and encourage agriculture that does not cause further deforestation.

Forest programmes

Illegal logging

Trade in illegal timber is a significant cause of deforestation. Our efforts to control illegal logging and encourage trade in legally harvested timber over the past 12 years have already helped to protect an estimated 17 million hectares of forest – an area equivalent to England and Wales in size.

Since March 2013 it has been a criminal offence to sell illegally-harvested timber in the UK and those supplying timber to the EU must take steps to ensure that the timber is from legal sources.

Through Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) regulation, the European Union and timber-exporting countries are working to bring improvements to forest management and reduce illegal logging in countries such as Indonesia, Ghana, and Republic of Congo. Malaysia is in negotiations to develop a similar agreement. More information on this work is available from the the CPET website.

The UK has also contributed £163 million to the Forests Governance Markets and Climate initiative, that works in Liberia, Ghana, Indonesia and other countries to help stop illegal logging.

Through these programmes, the UK is playing its part to help save tens of millions of hectares of forest and boost the incomes of thousands of poor people who depend on forests for their jobs and livelihoods.

Events and developments

26 January 2015

His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, meeting on Forests, Climate Change and Development at the British Academy

Forests and their ecosystems play a vital role in addressing climate change, preserving biodiversity, and as sources of food, income, water and energy to some of the poorest and most marginalised people in the world. Yet an average of 13 million hectares, an area the size of England, is lost across the world each year - a rate of 36 football fields per minute on average from 2000 to 2010.

The meeting focussed on enabling and scaling-up action in a number of priority areas to promote sustainable supply chains, implement governance and land tenure reform, and meet forest landscape restoration goals.

Forests, Climate Change and Development Meeting Summary – 26 January 2015

9 January 2014

Testing methodologies for REDD+: Deforestation drivers, costs and reference levels - Technical Report

The definition and setting of forest reference levels is important in the design of REDD+ under a future climate agreement. This technical report from Ecofys, supported by DECC, explores the idea of using a stepwise approach to set reference levels that integrate better data as they become available, in order to make emissions projections that better represent country circumstances. Four tropical countries that are part of CIFOR’s Global Comparative Study were selected for in-depth case studies because they represent countries with a wide range of national circumstances. These countries are Cameroon, Vietnam, Indonesia and Brazil.

Testing methodologies for REDD+: Deforestation drivers, costs and reference levels etc: technical report by Ecofys

20 November 2013

The UK-hosted Forest Event at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 19th Conference of Parties (COP19/CMP9) | Warsaw 2013

On 20 November 2013, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey hosted an event where developed and developing countries made announcements to support REDD+.

Germany, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States released a joint statement that detailed collective progress to address REDD+ in 2013. This built on the joint statement made in November 2012, at a forests summit hosted by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.

The UK announced £75m (around $120m) from the International Climate Fund for the new ‘BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes’. Working with the World Bank, this joint public-private partnership aims to work at scale to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by addressing key drivers of deforestation - particularly agricultural production. Norway (up to $135m), and the US ($25m) also announced support for this initiative in its first year, and additional partners are expected to join.

The UK also announced willingness to fund an additional programme in the FCPF Carbon Fund, providing sufficient credible programmes are approved.

Joint announcement on REDD+ by Germany, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States

At the forest event Colombia, Germany, Norway and the UK released a joint statement on reducing emissions from deforestation in the Colombian Amazon.

Joint statement of Colombia, Germany, Norway and the United Kingdom on reducing emissions from deforestation in the Colombian Amazon

Webcast of the event

Secretary Kerry’s address:

Secretary Kerry’s address.

July 2013

Addressing agricultural drivers of deforestation in Colombia: increasing land-based production while reducing deforestation, forest degradation, greenhouse gas emissions and rural poverty

Addressing agricultural drivers of deforestation in Colombia: increasing land-based production while reducing deforestation, forest degradation, greenhouse gas emissions and rural poverty (Spanish language version)

The government of the UK supported the production of a report from the Earth Innovation Institute (formerly IPAM International Program) on the agricultural drivers of deforestation in Colombia. Additional financial support was provided by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD).

29 November 2012

Prince of Wales summit on international forests

On 29 November 2012 Energy and Climate Secretary Edward Davey outlined new innovative plans to tackle deforestation as part of the UK’s international climate change commitments at a forestry summit at Clarence House, co-hosted by the Prince of Wales.

Discussion paper on a proposed new set of UK interventions to tackle deforestation

During the event, the Secretary of State also announced a new £15 million programme under the ICF to develop climate change mitigation plans and poverty alleviation in Colombia. This involves supporting smallholder farmers to plant trees on cattle grazing land, to increase biodiversity, improve the livelihood of farmers, reduce carbon emissions, and protect local forests.

United Kingdom and Colombia statement of intent on tackling deforestation and forest degradation

Joint statement of the United Kingdom, Norway, United States, Germany and Australia on tackling deforestation and forest degradation

Read the associated DECC press release.

September 2012

Drivers of Deforestation and Forest Degradation: A Synthesis Report for REDD+ Policymakers

The government of the UK and Norway supported the production of an independent report to help inform the decision-making process on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) at the upcoming United Nations climate change negotiations in Doha in December 2012.

18 May 2011

In 2011 PwC published the independent strategic review Funding for Forests: UK Government support for REDD+ which was used to further inform our REDD+ strategy.

Appendix 8: International Climate Fund (ICF)

This was a supporting detail page of the main policy document.

The government has set up the International Climate Fund (ICF) to provide £3.87 billion between April 2011 and March 2016 to help the world’s poorest adapt to climate change and promote cleaner, greener growth.

Video introducing the International Climate Fund

We work in partnership with developing countries to:

  • reduce carbon emissions through promoting low carbon development
  • help poor people adapt to the effects of climate change
  • reduce deforestation

The ICF’s strategic objectives are listed in the ICF Implementation Plan technical paper.

Read more about the ICF

Funding the ICF

Management of the ICF is split between 3 government departments:

  • Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) – gives £1.329 billion to the ICF
  • Department for International Development (DFID) – gives £2.4 billion to the ICF
  • Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) – gives £140 million to the ICF

As Official Development Assistance, the ICF must comply with the eligibility criteria determined by the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Funding for climate adaptation is for poor and vulnerable countries, including the least-developed countries, small island states and Africa. Funding for climate mitigation and forestry is for regions that have opportunities for reducing emissions in ways that can also reduce poverty and promote sustainable development (forestry funding will also aim to deliver biodiversity and/or ecosystem benefits). It is usually given to low-income countries, the least-developed countries and some middle-income countries.

The ICF contributed to meeting our commitment to provide £1.5 billion in Fast Start finance for climate change from 2010 to 2012.

Read the Fast Start Climate Change Finance brochure.

The Capital Markets Climate Initiative (CMCI) Innovation Platform provides a forum where specific ICF proposals that involve working with the private sector finance can be discussed with the expert CMCI participants.

How ICF funding works

The International Climate Fund (ICF) is a cross-departmental fund, managed by DFID, DECC and Defra. It is designed to support international poverty reduction by promoting growth and resilience through good development that makes it easier for people to respond to climate changes and shocks. It also helps governments avoid long term lock-in to high carbon investments, as well as tackling deforestation.

There is no direct route through which an organisation outside of the UK Government can independently develop a project to be considered for ICF funding. Proposals come forward through DFID country offices or central departments as well as from DECC and Defra. Often the delivery partners of individual projects include the private sector, civil society organisations and academic institutions but the proposal has to be sponsored and managed by one of the three UK Government Departments.

Monitoring and evaluation of ICF programmes

Monitoring and evaluation systems for ICF spend are aligned across the participating government departments. These use a set of high-level indicators to measure impact and value for money. Examples of indicators used to monitor the results of the scheme are outlined in the ICF implementation plan.

We expect the Independent Commission on Aid Impact (ICAI) will independently evaluate impact and value for money in the ICF in 2013.

Case studies

International Climate Fund (ICF) case studies

All DFID projects can also be found on their Development Tracker.

DECC and DFID are signatories of the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) and regularly update and publish the data on projects the ICF supports.


This study was prepared for DFID and DECC spending departments to inform future options for the delivery of the international climate fund (ICF). The report analyses the key gaps in the international climate finance architecture, assesses the institutional capacities required to deliver climate finance and suggests three potential options to address these gaps.