Antigua and Barbuda and other Small Island Developing states are expected to benefit from continued access to climate financing, following a major announcement from UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
At a recent gathering of G20 leaders in India, Prime Minister Sunak announced the UK’s biggest-ever single financial contribution to helping the world’s most vulnerable people adapt to and mitigate the impact of climate change.
The UK will contribute £1.62 billion (USD$2 billion) to the second replenishment of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), covering the period of 2024 to 2027. The GCF is the largest global fund dedicated to supporting developing countries to reduce global emissions and help communities adapt to the effects of climate change.
The pledge is part of the delivery of the UK’s commitment announced at COP26 to spend £11.6 billion (USD$14.5 billion) on international climate finance between 2021 and 2026. It represents a 13% increase in the UK’s previous contribution to the GCF for the period of 2020 to 2023.
The scale of the climate crisis requires finance to be delivered with ever greater speed and the UK will work with the GCF to ensure it accelerates action to deliver for those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, such as Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
Addressing G20 leaders during the 10-11 September meeting, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:
The UK is stepping up and delivering on our climate commitments, both by decarbonising our own economy and supporting the world’s most vulnerable to deal with the impact of climate change.
This is the kind of leadership that the world rightly expects from G20 countries. And this government will continue to lead by example in making the UK, and the world, more prosperous and secure.
Antigua and Barbuda is among Caribbean countries who have benefitted from GCF funding, implementing programmes geared towards improving the hurricane resilience of community buildings, homes, and businesses, and through flood prevention measures. A national of the country also sits on the GCF Board.
The GCF Board member for AOSIS countries, Ambassador Diann Black-Layne, welcomes the increase in commitment of the UK government and looks forward to additional support from the Fund for all AOSIS as well as Antigua and Barbuda.
Meanwhile, Resident Commissioner to Antigua and Barbuda, Ms Lindsy Thompson said, “This announcement reaffirms the UK’s commitment to supporting vulnerable countries like Antigua and Barbuda.”
Here in the Caribbean, the UK continues to listen to governments’ concerns on climate and environment issues and respond.
Unlocking climate finance in the Caribbean region is a key priority for the UK, which is why last week the UK’s Minister for the Caribbean signed an agreement worth £2.7m (USD$3.4m) with the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (5Cs) to help CARICOM Member States address the challenges they face in accessing and delivering climate finance.
And in Jamaica earlier this year, the UK announced a £7m (USD$8.7m) contribution to the taskforce which is piloting practical new approaches for accessing climate finance, with the eventual aim of replicating this model across the region to support national plans to address climate change.