Climate Change Conference
According to the British energy secretary, Ed Davey, Britain may face a disaster if the country adopts an “isolationist approach” in regards to the environment. The UK is due to give £720 million to an international fund which aids poor countries cope with climate change. As voters go to the polls in Rochester and Strood, Davey continued to say that a “little Englander approach” would end up being self defeating as climate change does not have borders.
Davey spoke to the Guardian when Britain announced its intention to donate more than France and Germany to the UN’s Green Climate Fund (GCF) which has a fixed target of $10 billion. UK’s commitment to this fund reveals a vital step towards rich and poor nations sealing the deal in order to tackle global warming in 2015, is surpassed only by the US and Japan. Davey’s enthusiasm is not shared by prime minister David Cameron, who is nervous about announcing Britain’s contribution to tackle climate change as it encounters the likelihood of losing its second parliamentary seat to Ukip.
The energy secretary continued to say that the prime minister should be more potent in challenging climate change sceptics. Many experts have recently warned that global warming will affect health, business and food production in the UK, and continuing with a senior military figure also warning that armed forces would become unable to provide global security if climate change won’t be checked.
Anyone who has followed the UN negotiations knows the poorest and most vulnerable countries on the planet are looking to developed countries to help them survive climate change. If we don’t do this, I don’t think we will get a global deal. It is as simple as that. Critics do not realise the vital work this money is for. This is about saving lives and we have duty to do this.”
The goal is to help low-lying countries cope with rising sea levels and subsistence farmers cope with failing crops. The contribution towards the GCF will come from the existing climate fund available in the UK which will spend £3.9 billion from 2011 to 2016.
When Davey was asked why the UK was offering the equivalent of $1.13 billion, more than the $1 billion offered by France and Germany, the energy secretary said the UK is going to pay extra if other countries came forward to contribute:
We are doing that to encourage others to give.”
Until this point, a total of 14 other countries contributed to the GCF, including Mexico and South Korea. However, Australia has refused giving any money due to their prime minister and climate sceptic Tony Abbott. Davey has reported being enthusiastic about climate politics which is experiencing a quiet but steady recognition of our common goals and shared interests.