The UK has committed up to £720 million to the Green Climate Fund, joining other major economies to help developing countries adapt to climate change and go low-carbon.
The fund will target developing countries, including the most vulnerable, to help them adapt to the adverse effects of climate change and limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
After the UK’s contribution, the climate fund now stands at around $9bn with 13 countries already pledging, including $3 bn from the US, $1.5bn from Japan, $1bn from Germany, and $1bn from France.
The UK money comes from existing funds earmarked for international climate work under the UK’s commitment for 0.7% of gross national income to overseas development assistance.
These pledges should help add momentum to efforts to secure a global deal at the UNFCCC negotiations in Lima and in Paris next year.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said:
“The poorest and most vulnerable on the planet are already suffering the effects of climate change and it’s our moral duty to act.
“From protecting low-lying islands and coastal settlements from the impact of rising sea levels to helping farmers struggling with lower crop yields caused by the weather effects of climate change – British aid can save lives.
“Along with the UK, other major economies such as the US, Japan, Germany and France have made substantial pledges and I urge other countries to be equally ambitious.”
The UK has a seat on the fund’s governing board whose 24 members, drawn equally from developing and developed countries, will decide on and supervise the fund’s spending.
The World Bank will manage the fund’s financial assets as interim trustee, subject to a review three years after the fund starts in 2015.