UK £1 billion to help Africa fight climate change

The Telegraph reports that, in a move that is expected to attract intense criticism at a time when the UK economy is struggling to recover from recession, Chris Huhne, UK Energy and Climate Change secretary, will announce details of a foreign aid package ahead of the 17th Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP17) in Durban.

Included in the package are schemes helping African farmers to insure their crops against flooding and drought, the installation of solar power in rural villages, as well as the creation of slurry pits that can produce gas to power generators.

South Africa, the most economically advanced country on the continent, is one of the countries which will receive money. South Africa's economy grew by 2.8 percent last year, while Britain's economy rose by 1.8%. The UK finance marks a significant increase in the level of aid for foreign climate change projects on top of the £282.5 million already allocated for the next year. Packages come from a cross-departmental fund set up to tackle climate change in developing countries. According to sources close to the British government, the announcement could bring the amount of spending in Africa on climate change up to £1 billion over the next four years.

According to The Telegraph, Huhne said that Africa will be the focus of much attention at Durban, where many countries stand on the front line of the impacts of climate change, Huhne added that the money would "improve access to low carbon energy" in 7,000 rural households, allow 1.2 million small farmers to "use climate resilient agriculture practices", be spent on "sustainable transport systems" and "leverage hundreds of millions of pounds of private finance for adaptation and mitigation". South Africa and Ethiopia are among the countries set to benefit most from the African package.


Credits: Biz Community


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