The UK government has announced it will commit at least £3 billion (US $4 billion) to climate change solutions in developing countries, helping to protect and restore nature and biodiversity over five years.
The funding will be allocated from the UK’s existing commitment of £11.6bn ($15.6 billion) for international climate finance and will deliver “transformational change” in protecting biodiverse ecosystems and shifting to sustainable food production and supply that will support the livelihoods of the world’s poorest.
Programs supported by the investment will include the flagship Blue Planet Funding which organizes financing for marine conservation; projects to maintain forests and tackle the illegal timber trade and deforestation; and initiatives to conserve habitats such as mangroves that protect communities from the impacts of climate change.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson made the announcement at the One Planet Summit, a leader-level virtual event convened by France earlier this month.
He addressed a session on Financing for Biodiversity, to call on others to raise their level of funding for nature, and to mobilize public and private finance for sustainable solutions to climate change.
The Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab also announced that the UK will pledge up to £38 million (US $51 million) to the Climate Compatible Growth program, supporting developing countries to accelerate their transition to green energy while growing their economies.
The UK is already moving more aggressively toward clean power and recently committed to protect at least 30 percent of its land and ocean by 2030.
Ahead of the One Planet Summit, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: We will not achieve our goals on climate change, sustainable development, or preventing pandemics if we fail to take care of the natural world that provides us with the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe.
“Tackling climate change and protecting nature are closely linked… thriving forests and ocean play a critical role in mitigating climate change. Our land and coastal marine ecosystems could provide up to a third of the climate mitigations needed to meet the targets set out in the Paris Agreement.”
In September, the Prime Minister also signed the Leaders Pledge for Nature at the UN General Assembly, an initiative pioneered by the UK and now signed by 82 countries. The UK has also funded the Blue Belt Programme to protect vulnerable ocean ecosystems, and five years ago joined with partners in Norway and Germany to pledge at least $5 billion to reduce deforestation between 2015 and 2020—exceeding the target by the end of last year.