UK announces 12.7% increase to its Green Climate Fund commitment

The UK will contribute £1.62bn to a UN-backed climate fund between 2024-27, a 12.7% increase from its previous three year commitment, prime minister Rishi Sunak has announced.

The Green Climate Fund, which was established by 194 countries following the 2009 COP15 climate summit in Copenhagen, seeks to assist developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change.

The UK contributed £1.4bn to the fund’s first replenishment between 2020-23. 

The UK is the 8th contributor to announce an early pledge for the fund. Germany has already pledged a 33% uplift on its first replenishment contribution, bringing its total over the next three years to £1.71bn and Canada has also pledged a 50% uplift, bringing its total to £264.4m. 

Addressing leaders at the final day of the G20 summit, Sunak said: “The UK is stepping up and delivering on our climate commitments, both by decarbonising our own economy and supporting the world’s most vulnerable to deal with the impact of climate change.

“This is the kind of leadership that the world rightly expects from G20 countries. And this government will continue to lead by example in making the UK, and the world, more prosperous and secure.” 

The Green Climate Fund has said that it “warmly welcomes the UK’s generous contribution”.

According to reports, this increased funding will form a “major part” of the UK government’s pledge to spend £11.6bn on international climate finance between April 2021 and March 2026.

Earlier this year the Guardian reported that the government was planning to scrap this commitment – with the former environment minister Lord Goldsmith claiming the government had “effectively abandoned” the pledge in his resignation letter.However, the government has denied that this is the case. 

Commenting on the replenished funding, Kate Norgrove, executive director of advocacy and campaigns at WWF-UK, said: “This is a welcome announcement from the prime minister and one that clearly demonstrates the importance of the Global Climate Fund. 

“It is essential that wealthier countries cooperate and collaborate to build greener and more resilient economies. We can bring our world back to life but we need action now. COP28 is a key milestone and leaders must work together to increase funding for vital climate action.”

Catherine Pettengell, executive director of Climate Action Network UK, also welcomed the announcement but said “more is needed”. 

“The urgency and scale of the climate crisis, and the devastating impacts it is having on communities and countries around the world, is yet to be matched by the necessary action. The government must go further to rebuild global confidence in the UK as a climate leader, and a helpful step towards this would be to increase this contribution further at the pledging conference in October in advance of COP28”, she said.