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UK’s response to climate finance and climate conference examined

2 July 2021

The House of Commons International Development Committee is holding the second session in its inquiry into climate change, development and ‘COP26’ - or the 26th ‘Conference of Parties’ United Nations climate change meeting, starting on 31 October in Glasgow.

The session on 6 July will focus on the challenges of financing the fight against climate change and will ask questions about the approach of the UK Government to climate change and to the ‘COP’ it will host later this year.

Tuesday 6 July 2021 (Virtual meeting)

  • Session will be conducted with remote participation by witnesses and Committee members

Panel 1 (2.30pm - c. 3.10pm)

  • Eileen Mairena Cunningham, Active Observer representing the Civil Society, Indigenous Peoples and Local Community Network at the Green Climate Fund & Head of the Secretariat, Researcher and Advocacy Officer on Climate Finance, Indigenous Peoples Territories at the Center for the Autonomy and Development of Indigenous Peoples (CADPI)
  • Gebru Jember, Representative of the Least Developed Countries Initiative for Effective Adaptation and Resilience (LIFE-AR) & Regional Lead for Climate Diplomacy and Measurement, Reporting and Verification at the Africa Office of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI)

Panel 2 (c. 3.10pm - c. 3.50pm)

  • Catherine Pettengell, Interim Director, Climate Action Network UK
  • Marek Soanes, Researcher in Climate Finance and Climate Risk Management at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)

Panel 3 (c. 3.50pm - c. 4.30pm)

  • Laurie Lee, Chief Executive Officer, CARE International UK - a humanitarian aid agency that is also active on climate issues
  • Nick Mabey, Chief Executive Officer, E3G - a think tank which specialises in climate change.

Purpose of the Session

The challenges of obtaining finance to address the negative impacts of climate change are particularly acute for low- and middle-income countries. They often face complex bureaucratic processes when applying for funds from multilateral organisations with application forms of 500-600 pages, no guarantee of funding despite urgency and finance - if granted - taking months to arrive.

The witnesses will be the divided into three panels, with the first concentrating on the challenges facing lower income countries and grassroots organisations in accessing funding. The second panel will look more specifically at the operation and impact of UK climate finance. The third panel will focus on climate action at Whitehall, i.e., how Whitehall makes policies and organises its work with regards to climate change.

The Prime Minister has said tackling climate change and diversity loss is the government’s “number one international priority” and the COP President, Alok Sharma MP, has said he aims to make the Glasgow summit “the most inclusive COP ever”. However, some observers say the UK’s government’s commitment and credibility on this subject have been undermined by the recent cut in the foreign aid budget.

Further information

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