To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the UK's international climate change strategy on poverty in African countries.
19 November 2021
Tackling climate change and biodiversity is the UK Government's number one international priority as set out in the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, published in March 2021. Evidence shows that poorer people are more vulnerable to the impact of climate change and unless addressed now, these impacts will represent an obstacle to the sustained eradication of poverty. Africa is the continent most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. From cyclones in Southern Africa to locusts in East Africa, changing weather patterns are already having catastrophic impacts for communities living across the continent, impacting lives and livelihoods.
As COP26 President, the UK is committed to driving action to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees and support countries that are most vulnerable to adapt to the impacts of climate change. This will be crucially important for communities in Africa, where the impacts of climate change are already being felt. The UK is a long-standing supporter of African adaptation, with around half of our £2.7 billion adaptation budget between 2016 and 2020 spent in Africa. We have strengthened these commitments at COP26, contributing £20 million to the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Programme to support African countries in designing and implementing transformational adaptation of their economies and post-COVID recovery. We have provided a guarantee to the African Development Bank, releasing up to $2 billion of climate finance - half of which will be for adaptation. We also recognise the importance of Africa's forested areas to mitigating climate change impacts and limiting global temperature rise. At the World Leaders Summit Forests and Land Use Event, the UK contributed £200 million to a landmark £1.1 billion donor pledge to protect the Congo Basin - the world's second largest rainforest - and support the region's long-term green economic development. These commitments demonstrate that Africa is at the heart of our approach to climate and nature.