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IDC launches climate change inquiry ahead of COP26

20 April 2021

The International Development Committee has launched an inquiry examining, ahead of COP26 in November, the progress the Government has made putting climate change at the centre of aid policy.


Developing countries are disproportionately affected by the impact of climate change, and less able to respond. For example, many lower-income countries are highly indebted and rely more heavily on climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture, forestry and tourism. The World Bank has suggested that Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia are among the region’s most vulnerable to climate change.

These concerns were echoed in the predecessor Committee’s report UK aid for combating climate change, which stressed that climate change is the single biggest threat to stability and wellbeing in some of world’s most vulnerable nations. The report called on the Government to realign the focus of aid policy, strategy and funding to place climate change at the centre. The Committee warned that failure to do so could be so severe as to nullify the effectiveness of wider aid spending.

International Development Committee Chair, Sarah Champion MP said:

“Developing countries disproportionately feel the effects of climate change: the WHO expects from 2030, climate change could contribute to 250,000 additional deaths a year, from malnutrition, malaria and heat stress. Richer countries have an obligation to support developing nations adapt to a warmer climate and mitigate the risks.

“To make COP26 a success, the Government will need the support of more than 130 lower and middle income countries. Our inquiry is intended to see what the UK Government has done to date to ensure climate justice is intwined in its development strategy, and what more can be done ahead of COP26.”

The IDC’s short inquiry will aim to conclude by the COP26 climate summit in November.

Terms of reference

The Committee is inviting written evidence on the following issues by 10 May:

  1. The extent to which the Government has made progress on implementing the Committee’s recommendations, particularly those on climate finance, climate justice, the use of ODA to support fossil fuels and making climate change a strategic priority in all aid spending;
  2. Any gaps that remain between what the Government has done and what it committed to do;
  3. The extent to which the Government’s work to date on climate change and development has taken the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the needs of low-and-middle income countries and vulnerable groups into account;
  4. The potential of COP26 to address these remaining challenges effectively and the steps the Government needs to take if COP26 is to succeed in tackling them.”

Further information

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