CARE statement on Boris Johnson's £1 billion climate finance announcement

GLASGOW, 1 November 2021 - CARE International is disappointed by Boris Johnson’s announcement of £1 billion in climate finance, dependent upon the growth of the UK economy. The £1 billion would be taken from the UK’s existing aid budget, meaning the poorest people will be footing the bill.

Francesca Rhodes, CARE’s Senior Policy and Advocacy Advisor on Gender and Climate Change said:

At a time when the world urgently needs leadership from the UK in providing new funding to support the poorest countries and communities most impacted by climate change, they have failed. This £1 billion pledged is taken from the aid budget, rather than in addition to it – so it is effectively taking from the poor to give to the poor. The UK aid cuts have had a devastating impact this year, especially for the 20 million women and girls who will no longer be supported by UK aid. This announcement is recycling money that should already have been allocated to the aid budget, and means other priorities including education, health, humantitarian and gender equality programmes will be squeezed even further, again impacting marginalised women and girls the most. The UK needs to step up with genuinely new and additional climate finance, and ensure this reaches those on the frontlines of climate crisis.”

John Nordbo, CARE’s Senior Advocacy Adviser on Climate, added that other leaders gathered at COP must not be tempted to use their aid budgets for climate finance:

Other countries must take note of the UK's lack of leadership on climate finance and do better. It is seriously wrong, not fair, to divert finance from fighting poverty to climate efforts. Poor people have played virtually no part in creating the climate problem. It is as simple as that. To take money from development aid in a situation where we see global poverty and hunger on the rise is to turn a blind eye to large scale human suffering.

CARE is urging leaders at COP26:

Finance for climate justice 
At the very least, wealthy countries have to deliver on their decade-old pledge of $100 billion annually, with 50% going to adaptation.  

Stay within a global temperature increase of 1.5°C  
Shift to net zero emissions as soon as possible in line with the 1.5°C limit of the Paris Agreement. 

Gender Justice 
Increase efforts to integrate gender equality across all climate measures and send funding to local women-led and women’s rights organisations working to tackle climate change. 

Gender-transformative adaptation 
Invest technical and financial support to accelerate gender-transformative climate action and decision-making. These are projects that support people in adapting to climate change that also work towards empowering women and girls and upholding their rights. This should include promoting women’s and girls’ leadership in climate action. 

Tackle climate loss and damage 
Many countries and communities have already experienced irreversible devastation due to the climate crisis, or will do in the future. COP26 must advance progress to provide finance to address these impacts.