‘No surprises’ for UK public finances from Cop26, say Treasury officials

Sir Tom Scholar, permanent secretary to the Treasury, said commitments from the conference will not impact the latest spending review.

Henry Saker-Clark
Wednesday 17 November 2021 15:19
(Kirsty O”Connor/PA)
(Kirsty O”Connor/PA)

The Treasury’s top official has reassured MPs that there were “no surprises” in the implications of Cop26 for the UK Government’s public finances.

It comes after the global climate conference agreed to significantly increase funding to help poor countries cope with the effects of climate change and switch to clean energy.

The two-week event also witnessed the prospect of a trillion-dollar-a-year fund from 2025, after a previous pledge for richer countries to provide 100 billion dollars a year by 2020 was missed.

Speaking to MPs on the Public Accounts Committee Sir Tom Scholar, permanent secretary to the Treasury said commitments from the conference will not impact the latest spending review.

There will... no doubt be further things that happen but, to the extent that they have public spending implications, they have either been covered or will come up in future spending reviews

Sir Tom Scholar

He said: “The Cop agreement was for many years ahead and the spending review is for three years ahead, so there were no surprises there that we believe are going to cause any difficulty in that spending review period.

“The UK made various agreements at the summit that had been agreed and funded in advance.

“There will, as a result of the summit, no doubt be further things that happen but, to the extent that they have public spending implications, they have either been covered or will come up in future spending reviews.”

Last month, Treasury documents said the autumn Budget and spending review, in combination with its previously agreed net-zero strategy, keeps the UK on track for its climate targets.

Mr Scholar stressed that the scale of global financial climate commitments are “enormous” but said this will also include funding from industry.

“A lot of finance will come from the private sector, which is why the Government put a lot of great stress at Cop26 about the private sector and trying to improve the incentives for the private sector to provide the necessary financing.

“In terms of official resources, we and other countries have been discussing the 100 billion-dollar targets and the UK has made a number of commitments on that – all of that is already linked into the spending review.

“No doubt, spending reviews will have to look at this in the future but we are confident now about what is covered.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in