COP26: UK pledges £290m to help poorer countries cope with climate change

The UK is pledging £290m to help poorer countries cope with the impact of climate change, as the COP26 climate change summit enters its second week.

Government ministers from around the world are in Glasgow for more talks.

They will discuss how to support poorer countries and if reparations for damage from natural disasters should be paid.

Poorer nations have called for $100bn of financial help, arguing they are already suffering and will be worst affected by climate change.

Developing countries have historically contributed a very small proportion of the damaging emissions driving climate change – while currently the wealthiest 1% of the global population account for more than double the combined emissions of the poorest 50%.

The majority of the money from the UK will go to help Asian and Pacific nations plan and invest in climate action, improve conservation and promote low-carbon development, the government said.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office described the £290m as “new funding”. The government said last month that cuts to the UK’s foreign aid spending, to 0.5% of national income, will stay in place until at least 2024-25.

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The UN summit will continue until Sunday, with much of the focus of the talks over how to limit global warming to the target of 1.5C.

Monday will see negotiators discuss how best to mitigate the impact of a warming planet, particularly for poorer countries.

Developing countries are asking for $100bn (around £73bn at current exchange rates) annually to help reduce emissions and adapt to climate change and reaching net-zero targets on emissions well before 2050.

A pledge for $100bn from wealthier nations was made as long ago as 2009, but the plans to have it in place by 2020 have not been realised and current targets aim to reach it by 2023 – an offer which has been described as “extremely disappointing”..

International trade minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said the world “must act now” to prevent more people being pushed into poverty by climate change.

<<BBC>>