40% think Britain’s world standing will decrease if it fails climate commitments to poor nations

A letter signed by more than 19,000 people will be delivered to Boris Johnson by charity WaterAid

Thomas Kingsley
Tuesday 19 October 2021 02:12
Climate Change: COP26 might change our world

40 per cent of Brits believe that the UK’s world standing would decrease if it fails to meet its climate commitments to developing nations, a new survey reveals.

According to the survey by Water Aid, more than half (52 per cent) of the British public support donating money to poorer nations to help them cope with the impacts of climate change as 42 per cent of people believe developed nations have done more to contribute to the causes of the current climate crisis.

It comes as the UK is only weeks away from hosting COP26 where nations will gather in Glasgow to discuss solutions to major climate issues affecting the world.

The survey results also come as an open letter has been signed by more than 19,000 people - including actors Amanda Mealing and Thandie Newton and a cross party group of MPs - and will be delivered to Boris Johnson and Liz Truss by WaterAid.

It calls on the government to invest a third of its climate finance in locally-led adaptation projects to help people living on the frontline of areas damaged by the impacts of climate change.

Tim Wainwright, CEO of WaterAid, said the UK has a chance to show it’s a “credible climate leader” that delivers its climate commitments to poorer nations.

“Richer countries, who are responsible for most of the CO2 emissions that drive this crisis, must start repaying their deadly climate debt to poorer countries, who have contributed the least,” Mr Wainwright said.

He added: “With just under two weeks till COP26, Boris Johnson needs to pull out all the stops to encourage G20 leaders to deliver on their climate finance pledges so that developing countries do not have to face the devastating impacts of climate change on their own.” 

Earlier this year the government announced that it would be cutting foreign aid to poorer nations due to the impact of the pandemic. The move was met with criticism from charity groups.

In 2009 richer nations, including the UK, committed to supporting poorer nations protect themselves against the effects of climate change by providing $100bn by 2020. Only 80 per cent of this money has been delivered, according to the latest data. 

WaterAid is working with the UK and Netherlands Governments, the private sector, development banks and others to develop the Resilient Water Accelerator, an initiative launched by HRH Prince of Wales which aims to increase funding to the most climate-vulnerable communities around the world. When fully funded, it will reach 50 million people in water-stressed areas with climate-resilient water resources and services by 2030.

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