UK Triples International Climate Investments, Boosts Deforestation Programs at COP27


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by | Nov 7, 2022

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(Credit: Pixabay)

The United Kingdom is set to launch a significant international climate and financing plan as COP27 begins, especially benefiting the conference’s host continent of Africa.

The UK says it will deliver on its commitment to spend $13.15 billion on international climate initiatives while adding programs to support forest and nature preservation, including in the Congo Basin, green tech and clean energy investments with Kenya and Egypt, and working with G7 allies to finance sustainable infrastructure. Overall, the nation says it will commit to tripling its budget for climate adaptation from more than $566 million in 2019 to $1.7 billion in 2025.

COP27 gets underway this week in Egypt, and meeting commitments to international sustainability funding goals is expected to be a priority at the conference. The United Nations estimates an investment of nearly $90 billion is needed by 2030 to meet international net-zero goals.

As part of its commitments, the UK says it will invest more than $74.2 million toward green tech innovation and clean energy in Kenya and Egypt. Those include solar, geothermal, and energy storage developments.

The UK says it is reaffirming its commitment to the UK-Kenya Strategic Partnership, which includes billions in investments in sustainable buildings, manufacturing, agricultural, and renewable energy projects. The UK is also supporting Egypt’s main COP27 initiative, which aims to grow clean energy platforms in the country.

Egypt is Africa’s largest energy consumer. The country has said it needs more than $246 billion to achieve sustainability targets and energy transitions.

The UK is also investing another $74 million in the Clean Energy Innovation Facility, which provides grants to researchers and scientists in developing countries to accelerate the development of clean technology. Some of the program’s financing has included prototype lithium-ion batteries in Nigeria and clean hydrogen-based fuels for steel production in Morocco. A report by BloombergNEF and the Climate Investment Funds found that closing the investment gap in emerging markets is key to international energy transitions.

Additionally, the UK is launching several natural land programs. Those include investing more than $100 million in the Congo Basin and more than $70 million in the Nature, People, and Climate Investment Fund, which supports forest communities. Additionally, the UK says it will invest in Treevive, which is working to conserve and restore 2 million hectares of tropical forest.

The Forests and Climate Leaders’ Partnership is also being spearheaded by the UK at COP27. The new group, which will initially be made up of 20 countries, will meet twice yearly to track commitments on the landmark Forests and Land Use declaration at COP26, which aims to halt and reverse forest loss by 2030.

According to the World Economic Forum, deforestation accounts for 15% of the world’s emissions, and mitigating natural loss is the most cost-effective way to abate carbon.

More than 140 countries announced goals at COP26 to end deforestation by 2030, and CDP has encouraged ways for businesses to take on the issue in their supply chains as they strive to achieve net zero. Natural capital is also seen as a growing piece of sustainability measures, and ignoring natural loss could cost some nations billions of dollars a year, according to a 2021 S&P Global Ratings report.

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