Rishi Sunak: “Stepping up” climate finance

Kathryn Maloney, St Philomena's Catholic High School for Girls

Wednesday 3nd November 2021

On Wednesday 3rd November 2021, the fourth day of COP26, the topic of the day was Climate Finance, which is finance on a local, national and international scale that aims to reduce the severity of climate change and adapt actions. This will address climate change including reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and increasing the resilience of a country. The money for climate finance mostly comes from public funds which are provided as loans to the recipient country. The rest of the money will come from private and alternative sources of financing such as from large corporations.

Today, Rishi Sunak, who is the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the UK, also gave a vital speech on climate finance. His speech pinpointed the many strategies the UK, along with many other countries and financial companies, would undertake to reduce climate change and reach net zero. One of his many strategies is that the UK along with other countries will be “stepping up” in order to provide quicker and more easily accessed finances to developing countries, who have been affected most by the coronavirus pandemic and climate change, which Sunak referred to as“double tragedies”. However, in my opinion this message has been undermined by the fact that it has taken six years in order to deliver on the Paris agreement of $100 billion a year. This has caused much frustration amongst developing countries and has dented the trust in developed countries in such a critical time. This agreement will only be put into place by 2023, which is three years late from the original target. Furthermore, there is still no clarity about when this capital will materialise despite all the “promises” made by Rishi Sunak, including the UK providing £100 million to the task force on access to climate finance. This should make it quicker and easier for developing countries to access climate finance, but has thus far been a failure.

Climate finance will go to many different areas, including improving the resilience of poorer countries. Resilience is the ability of a community to cope with a hazard that is caused by global warming, such as intense and prolonged droughts due to an increase of global temperature. For example, the project BRACED in South Sudan is attempting to build resilience by working with communities to develop knowledge and skills so that they can produce long lasting sources of food and become less reliant on aid. This is vital in South Sudan as over 90% of the population are reliant on climate sensitive sectors, such as farming. Climate finance funds this important project and many others like it, including climate-friendly energy such as solar energy. This can reduce poverty and support economic growth in developing countries. But we are not there yet. We need the investment and commitment from developed countries to make a real change.

The implications this has on my future is that the actions taken today and from previous days will not reach the Paris target of 1.5℃, but will exceed this by 0.4℃. This will impact my future as it will bring extreme weather to all over the globe including the UK who will experience hotter, drier summers. This will cause forest fires, killing our ecosystems and potentially killing many people. This devastation is only some of the impacts on my future. The implications this has on the whole world is that developing countries continue to suffer the worst impacts of climate change despite causing the least amount of global warming. Hopefully with quick roll-outs of the strategy Rishi Sunak is proposing we can limit the devastation of climate change on the developing world and hopefully turn the tide on global warming.

References and sources


Rishi Sunaks speech manuscript which has provided quotes for my report


The Guardian News article which has given me different points of view on Rishi Sunak’s speech.


BBC page which has given me key information and clarity on what the speech means and peoples reactions - developing countries.


Information on what climate finance is


Useful information about why COP26 is so important



Read the other reports from our budding journalists to hear the important views from young people on all things COP26.


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