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Countries looking to follow the UK’s leadership and boost their use of clean energy sources will receive millions of pounds to support their switch.

At the COP28 negotiations in Dubai, Energy Security and Net Zero Minister Graham Stuart will announce further details of £140 million to support developing countries deliver net zero while extending access to affordable energy and growing their economies.

The funds could provide clean energy for 8.7 million people, create 25,000 jobs in clean energy industries and cut CO2 emissions by at least 800,000 tonnes.

This builds on UK progress at home on energy transition. Setting into law one of the most ambitious 2035 climate change targets of any major economy, the UK has undergone the fastest reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of any major economy - down nearly 50% since 1990.

However, to meet net zero, developing countries also need to reduce their emissions and the funding announced today will help support this.

Minister for Energy Security and Net Zero, Graham Stuart, said:

The UK is helping other nations act swiftly to switch to renewable energy and slash emissions on the pathway to net zero, all while creating thousands of new green jobs.

Backed by an extra £140 million, the UK is leading the world in supporting developing countries to unlock innovation and clean tech in this critical decade for our climate.

To meet net zero globally by 2050, at least a third of the emissions reductions will need to be supported by technologies that are not yet on the market. The UK is therefore working with partners around the world to accelerate the global green transition, helping make clean technologies affordable, accessible and reliable for all. 

At the start of the conference, the Prime Minister announced £1.6 billion for international climate finance (ICF) projects over the course of COP28 aimed at stopping and reversing deforestation, protecting the natural environment and accelerating the global transition to clean and renewable energy. The investment delivers on the UK’s commitment to spend £11.6 billion of ICF over five years, and takes it further with new funding, exceeding our international pledges.

Today’s package forms part of that £1.6 billion commitment and includes:

Up to £80 million through the UK Partnering for Accelerated Climate Transitions (PACT), a flagship UK partnership programme to support governments across Africa, Asia, and Latin America to set clean growth goals, reducing emissions by starting renewable energy projects, greener transport and more sustainable use of land; 

£40 million via the Transforming Energy Access (TEA) platform to demonstrate energy access technologies in low-income countries, and fund research and development into climate friendly refrigeration and appliances that can run directly off renewables

£15 million via the Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS) programme to help countries move away from firewood and charcoal for cooking to cleaner electrical cooking appliances; and

Plus an additional £4 million to support universal access to affordable and reliable clean energy in Africa, which will deliver access to electricity to thousands of people.

These measures also follow concerted efforts to help developing countries reduce their emissions and green their electricity grids.

The Minister also announced key partnerships with countries on a range of issues to help international efforts to tackle climate change.

These include:

The UK pledging its commitment to the Green Public Procurement Pledge, alongside Germany, Canada and the US – sending a multi-billion-dollar global demand signal to accelerate low-carbon steel, cement and concrete production; and

Australia and Norway signing the UK-led Clean Energy Transition Partnership, bringing the total membership to over 40 countries and public finance institutions. Both countries have committed to move international public support away from unabated fossil fuels and towards clean energy.

CBI Chief Executive, Rain Newton-Smith, said:

The UK has always been a leader in the global net zero transition. It was the first to sign net zero into law, has cut emissions faster than any other G7 nation, and, through the COP26 Presidency, has led unprecedented engagement with the private sector.

However, climate change is a global issue with global repercussions, and it’s simply not enough to focus on our own actions. This announcement will allow the UK to play an important role in supporting developing countries to make their own transition.

In turn, business stands ready to do its part and to champion the impact that increased public-private collaboration can have on this generation defining issue.

Today, the UK Government is also delivering on its 2023 Green Finance Strategy commitment and announcing that Vanessa Havard-Williams will lead the Transition Finance Market Review, which will launch in January and position the UK as the best place in the world to raise transition capital with integrity, to help companies in high-emitting sectors access capital to reduce emissions faster. Photo by Serine Ben Brahim, Wikimedia commons.