Climate warning
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Rishi Sunak

Climate warning

Disgrace for UK climate policy as it plans to drop £11.6bn climate pledge

In a devastating blow to the fight against climate change, The Guardian reveals that the UK government plans to abandon its flagship £11.6 billion climate and nature funding pledge, leaving vulnerable populations exposed to the ravages of the climate crisis. Former ministers and representatives of at-risk countries have expressed their anger, accusing Rishi Sunak of making false promises.

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For years, the UK has strived to position itself as a global leader in tackling the climate crisis but this is well over. Former Climate minister Zac Goldsmith, who resigned recently citing Sunak's "apathy" towards the environment, warned that this decision would severely damage the UK's international reputation. Goldsmith emphasized the challenge of meeting the £11.6 billion target after the next election, requiring drastic cuts in humanitarian, education, health, and other funding areas. He expressed particular concern for small island states, as well as the broader geopolitical repercussions and the UK's reputation as a reliable partner.

A leaked briefing note to ministers, shared with the Foreign Office and revealed by The Guardian, sheds light on the reasons behind the abandonment of the UK's commitment to the global $100 billion per year climate funding pledge for developing countries. The note states that the promise to double international climate finance to £11.6 billion was made in 2019 when the UK's international aid spending was at 0.7% of GDP and pre-Covid. Meeting the target by the deadline is deemed a "huge challenge" due to new pressures, including the inclusion of aid for Ukraine in the budget.

To achieve the £11.6 billion target by 2026, government officials have calculated that 83% of the Foreign Office's official development assistance budget would have to be allocated to the international climate fund. Civil servants expressed concern that such a reallocation would leave little room for other crucial commitments, such as humanitarian aid and programs for women and girls. This is such a weird argument considering that fighting climate change is also helping women and girls. This is saying that projects focused on renewable energy infrastructure, low-pollution transportation, and forest protection in ecologically sensitive regions worldwide don't matter.
The potential funding cut has dismayed countries set to receive the funds. Gabon's environment minister, Lee White, stated that the climate crisis requires contributions from all countries, urging developed nations like the UK to fulfill their financial commitments and provide true leadership. This U-Turn opens the door for more countries to follow the UK and this is a scary possibility.

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  • evee

    48 w

    Cuts and breaking promises on foreign aid have been happening for years. Very short sighted. Perhaps, somewhere, its important to emphasise that effects of climate change are already causing instability, mass migration and rising prices... Realistically the idea of aid for far away ecosystems will not be seen as a priority for most MPs/electorate.

    • We Don't Have Time

      49 w

      Dear Sarah Chabane Your climate warning has received over 50 agrees! We have reached out to Rishi Sunak by email and requested a response. I will keep you updated on any progress! To reach more people and increase the chance of a response, click the Share button above to share the review on your social accounts. For every new member that joins We Don't Have Time from your network, we will plant a tree and attribute it to you! /Adam, We Don't Have Time

      • Elizabeth Gathigia

        49 w

        UK government should rethink about its plans, now it's not the time to turn back, but rather its time to work together in fight against climate crisis

        • John Thomas

          49 w

          We cannot afford to wait for the electorate to throw this government out at the end of 2024. The climate emergency will not wait for us to argue any longer. We should have started cutting emissions from 1988. 35 years wasted...

          • Sarah Chabane

            49 w

            @john_thomas yes, we can't wait!

          • Mats Nilsson

            49 w

            Disgrace is the Word. Hope they come with something even better and sooner. All countries must act NOW!

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