British Prime Minister pledges $2 billion to revive UK’s climate narrative

2023 12 01T064840Z 1 LYNXMPEJB013P RTROPTP 4 BRITAIN CLIMATE SUNAK scaled
FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak delivers a speech during a press conference on the net zero target, at the Downing Street Briefing Room, in central London, on September 20, 2023. The UK looked set to backtrack on policies aimed at achieving net zero emissions by 2050 with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak expected to water down some of the government's green commitments. The move comes amid growing concern over the potential financial cost of the government's policies to achieve net zero carbon emissions by mid-century. JUSTIN TALLIS/Pool via REUTERS/File photo

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will pledge 1.6 billion pounds ($2 billion) in funding at the U.N. climate summit on Friday, in an attempt to bolster his green credentials after watering down Britain’s measures to reach net zero targets.

Sunak, in Dubai for COP28 leaders’ day, will try to restore Britain’s reputation as a leader in tackling climate change by committing to spend the mostly new money on projects in Africa and Asia to tackle deforestation and energy innovation.

But he will also underline Britain’s “pragmatic” approach to climate change, a description he has stuck with since he was criticised by environmental campaigners for delaying a ban on sales of new petrol cars, easing the transition to heat pumps and granting new North Sea drilling licences.

Running way behind the opposition Labour Party in the polls before a national election expected next year, Sunak’s team believes voters will only support measures to tackle climate change when, or if, they are affordable.

“The world made ambitious pledges at previous COP summits to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. But the time for pledges is now over – this is the era for action,” Sunak said in a statement.

“The transition to net zero should make us all safer and better off. It must benefit, not burden ordinary families. The UK has led the way in taking pragmatic, long-term decisions at home.”

The funding, which will be announced during the two-week summit, includes up to 500 million pounds to tackle the causes of deforestation, 316 million for energy innovation projects around the world and up to 60 million for loss and damage.

King Charles, a long-time environmental campaigner, will give the opening address to the summit, calling on world leaders to acknowledge the repeated warning signs of the impact of climate change and take “genuine transformational action”.

 

More from Qonversations

Business

Total Energies Nigeria

Explainer: Why did TotalEnergies sell its Nigerian oil stake?

News

Flight Board

Could this be the largest IT outages in history?

Business

2023 10 26 NIGERIA BUDGET

Will Nigeria’s mining licenses revitalise local economies?

Business

Venezuela Oil

How Venezuela’s oil sector achieved record production levels despite controversial joint ventures

Front of mind