Mr Sunak originally announced he would not attend COP27 in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, but later decided to attend. During his time there, he revealed a new package of climate finance measures that will help tackle the climate issue.
He announced that the UK Government is tripling their funding for climate adaptation, from £500m in 2019 to £1.5b in 2025. The Prime Minister actively participated in a plenary discussion at COP27 to launch the Forests and Climate Leaders’ Partnership. This group consists of 20 nations, who will meet twice a year to track progress regarding the Forest and Land use declaration.
Furthermore, Rishi Sunak announced a £90m funding package, which will be used to support protection and conservation in the Congo Basin, a demanding hotspot for global diversity and tropical plants.
Mr Sunak also said the government will commit a £65m budget to the Nature, People and Climate Investment Fund to support local forest communities. Funding will also be provided to Treevive, an enterprise aimed at restoring millions of hectares of tropical forests.
Speaking at COP27, Sunak said: “When her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II addressed COP26 last year, she reflected on how history has shown that, when nations come together in common cause, there is always room for hope.
I believe we found a room for hope in Glasgow. With one last chance to create a plan that would limit global temperature rises to 1.5C, we made the promise to keep that goal within reach. The question today is this – can we summon the collective will to deliver them? I believe we can.”
Renewable and clean energy funding
The UK Government has also introduced funding to assist clean energy. Sunak introduced a sum of £65.5m that will be invested into the BEIS-led Clean Energy Innovation Facility. The facility was founded in 2019 and supports clean energy innovation for researchers and scientists in developing nations. The facility has supported the development of biomass-powered refrigeration in India and hydrogen production in Morocco, among other developments.
Rishi Sunak also emphasized the UK’s ambition to work with G7 allies to provide countries with sustainable and reliable infrastructure financing. The PM met with Kenyan leader President Ruto to discuss the next steps in the UK-Kenya Strategic Partnership and progress on several green investment projects.
The green investment projects include new and expanded solar and geothermal power plants in Kenya backed by British International Investment. Additionally, the UK has announced further support for Kenyan projects and to expand solar and nuclear capacity alongside financial assistance for Nairobi’s Railway City project.
The UK government has also secured financial support for Egypt’s Nexus on Food, Water, and Energy project. The funding that has been allocated will develop projects including solar parks and energy storage innovations. These projects are set to bring billions in private sector finance.
Despite these commitments, Carbon Brief analysis states that the UK is falling £1.4b short of its stated climate finance commitments. There have been disputes and controversies over the latest climate finance commitments.
Friends of the Earth’s international climate campaigner Rachel Kennerley, who attended COP27, said: “Rishi Sunak rightly recognizes the enormous threat posed by the mounting climate emergency, and the opportunities that tackling it will create, but without much tougher UK action this will count for little.
His government is still failing to deliver adequate finance to support vulnerable nations to tackle climate change and deal with its impacts, while continuing to help fund a hugely damaging and destabilizing gas project in Mozambique, along with new North Sea gas and oil projects, which will only fuel the climate crisis.”
Prime minister Rishi Sunak announced an honorable climate finance funding plan. The UK government has committed to helping the global climate crisis and promised they will do their part and whatever it takes to limit global temperature rise to 1.5C.