As COP27 ends, we take a look at the pledges made by the UK government during the conference.
- climate change,
- deforestation and biodiversity,
- clean energy,
- zero emission vehicles and
- nature restoration.
The Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, announced a package of programs on his handover to COP27 on the first day of the conference.
The government committed to triple funding for climate adaptation from £500 million in 2019 to £1.5 billion in 2025. This is part of the £11.5 billion committed to international climate finance.
On the same day, he launched the Forests and Climate Leaders’ Partnership. This aims to stop and reverse deforestation by 2030 and builds on the Forests and Land Use declaration from COP26. The government pledged £90 million for the Congo Basin and £65 million to the Nature, People and Climate Investment Fund and Treevive.
In support of clean energy, the government has pledged £65.5 million to the Clean Energy Innovation Facility. The facility funds research in developing countries like India, Nigeria and Morocco. The government will be continuing with its investment in the UK-Kenya Strategic Partnership. This is developing solar, geothermal and hydropower schemes.
That was day one. Since then, the UK Government pledges have included a drive for Zero Emissions Vehicles on Solutions day. They also agreed to funding for programs including the Big Nature Impact Fund on Biodiversity day.
The coalition for zero emissions vehicles named Accelerating To Zero will aim to reach an ‘all zero emissions vehicles’ sales target by 2040. Supporters, including France and Spain made 214 EV declarations. The US, UK, Germany, Japan, The Netherlands, Sweden and South Korea have committed to funding ZEV growth in emerging markets and developing countries.
“ICCT research has repeatedly shown that to achieve the Paris Climate Accord goal of staying well below 2°C, the largest and leading vehicle markets need to hit 100% electrification of passenger car sales by 2035. The launch of the Accelerating to Zero Coalition creates a forum where the most ambitious governments, automakers, fleet owners, and other stakeholders can give and receive support for their efforts to achieve 100% ZEV car and van fleets. We are happy to support the Coalition and build on the momentum created since COP26 through the ZEV Declaration.”Drew Kodjak, Executive Director, ICCT
UK Government pledges £30 million to Big Nature Impact Fund
The UK Government pledges £30 million for the Big Nature Impact Fund as seed finance. The fund will be a mix of public/private funding and will invest in tree planting and restoring peatlands. The financial return is expected to be made by selling high-integrity carbon and biodiversity units to businesses. This will help them meet their net zero commitments.
“Over half of the world’s GDP [is] reliant on nature, which is why the United Kingdom put nature at the heart of our COP26 Presidency and led calls to protect 30 per cent of land and ocean by 2030.”
“We continue to demonstrate international leadership through commitments to create a natural world that is richer in plants and wildlife to tackle the climate crisis, and at next month’s meeting of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity we will strive for an ambitious agreement that includes a global 30 by 30 target, a commitment to halt and reverse biodiversity loss, and an increase in resources for the conservation and protection of nature from all sources.”Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey, speaking at Biodiversity Day at COP27
The government also pledged additional funding to the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (£12 million), the UNDP Promise to help developing countries (£6 million), and the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) Multi-Donor Trust Fund for the Amazon (£5 million). They will also support the preservation of mangroves and blue carbon research.
That’s an impressive amount. Especially when you consider that the final agreements of COP27 were still being drafted. We have yet to see the final details in the COP27 cover decision. This includes the promises towards cutting greenhouse gases and staying below the 1.5C global temperature rise. Still under discussion at the end of the conference was an agreement around fossil fuels, with a phase down of coal proposed by India. And the ‘loss and damage’ funding for countries affected by climate change was still a hot topic.
Addressing climate change and reaching net zero are complex problems. They need innovative solutions and high levels of funding. They also require collaboration. COP27 ended on Friday and the details of the final cover decisions, reached in the early hours of Sunday morning, will soon be available.
In the meantime, each of us can play our part by living sustainably and managing our businesses sustainably. If you need help with this, join our membership.