Aid budget cuts will worsen the climate crisis | Letter

The world’s poorest countries are at the frontline of a climate crisis they did not cause, and the pandemic has made the hardship and inequality they face even worse. Going back on a fundamental manifesto commitment on UK aid not only fails them, it also risks failing to fulfil the commitments to the Paris agreement on climate action.

Cutting the aid budget (UK aid budget facing billions in cuts, 17 November) would undermine a core aim of the UK Cop26 presidency – to increase support to vulnerable countries. It has never been more important that UK aid and climate finance work together to build resilience in the face of climate change and the Covid-19 crisis. Alok Sharma, the Cop26 president designate, has stated that “there is much further to go” in raising finance to meet the $100bn-a-year climate finance commitment to developing countries.

Instead of cutting aid, the UK should use its G7 and Cop26 presidencies in 2021 to lead an international economic response for a sustainable, inclusive and resilient recovery, which means honouring existing aid and climate finance commitments, and raising ambition.

The UK cannot afford to fail. World leaders will look to Cop26 to understand “global Britain’s” values and place in the world.

Miriam Turner and Hugh Knowles Co-CEOs, Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland
John Sauven Executive director, Greenpeace UK
Clara Goldsmith Campaigns director, The Climate Coalition
Shaun Spiers Executive director, Green Alliance
Andrew Norton Director, International Institute for Environment and Development
Nick Mabey CEO, E3G
Beccy Speight Chief executive, RSPB
Amanda Khozi Mukwashi CEO, Christian Aid
Laurie Lee CEO, Care International UK
Paul Smith Lomas CEO, Practical Action
Danny Harvey Executive director, Concern Worldwide UK
Tim Wainwright Chief executive, WaterAid
David Hillman Director, Stamp Out Poverty
Christine Allen Director, Catholic Agency for Overseas Development
Naser Haghamed CEO, Islamic Relief Worldwide
Mark Sheard CEO, World Vision UK
Nigel Harris CEO, Tearfund

The Guardian

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