It is not in the UK Climate Change Finace aid cuts interest to give up its climate commitment after gaining allies and influence as Cop president.
The Glasgow peak of our leadership on climate change has long since gone. The heady days of the 2022 Conservative Party leadership elections have also passed. With most candidates satisfied to at least maintain the status quo regarding UK climate ambition both domestically and abroad.
If there is any climate news at the moment. It consists of a mix of fresh drilling, internal nimbyism, and diplomatic disinterest.
Personally, I departed the Cop26 President’s private office, where I served as a speechwriter and private secretary. Carry on the job at one of the greatest generous organizations in the UK from outside of government.
And it was my new position that brought me to Paris for the Macron-Mottley financial summit last month. This is more than can be said for UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Who choose to go out with media tycoon Rupert Murdoch instead.
William Ruto, the president of Kenya, is know for being a rising voice on the subject of global warming. When he arrived at the Palace Brongniart in Paris, that was already there.
I therefore listen intently as he discuss what he consider to be our nation’s major collective failing in addressing the climate crisis. Our steadfast belief that it could be done in a system base on national interest.
He said, paraphrasing, “National interest prevails before morning’s out when global good contends with it.” It stood out as a meaningful commentary on the condition of the game among a frenzy of panels and plenaries that were largely indistinguishable from one another.
But I believe it’s important for all of us to consider Ruto’s statement further, especially those working to shape and influence UK climate policy.
The contemporary UK background initially appears to be in favor of the claim.
To say that things have got difficult in the UK recently would be an understatement. Adam Tooze, who once served as my thesis advisor, revived the notion of a world polycrisis.
And the accompanying energy and cost of living challenges here in the UK have made this very apparent. When the pandemic damage the economy and domestic constraints increase, the government’s ability to spend money abroad was diminish. Since then, uk climate change finace aid cuts however, funds have been divert to Ukraine and the defense of democracy on relatively nearby shores.
Finding Loss and Damage is Difficult; We Require a Practical but Scientific Method.
Just as Ruto had forewarned, it seems. Before the morning is over, the national interest will prevail.
Yet. I do not think Ruto’s struggle between the greater good and national interests can adequately account for the UK’s halting leadership. Instead, the issue is a faulty and narrow view of one aspect of the situation.
We must acknowledge that a major part of any government’s agenda today centers on global climate leadership. Supported by ambitious domestic climate policy. Whether in terms of geopolitical and diplomatic concerns, economic and other forms of security, or economics. As far as I can see. There is no longer a distinction between home policy and international policy that could formerly be made.
Doubtful “Green Aluminum” Claims are Spark by the Threat of an EU Carbon Price in Mozambique.
When this is acknowledge. It becomes clear that leadership on climate change is not at odds with national interest. Rather. It is at the core of it.
As we worked to advance the goals of the Glasgow Climate Pact and to forge a coalition in support of aggressive and long term climate action globally. I had the opportunity to witness this firsthand while working for the Cop26 President.
I recall one of the first business trips I went on after starting at the firm. We stayed in Turkify for three days. Spending the first day touring one of the largest solar farms in the world not far from Ankara before heading back there to engage with ministers and the First Lady on advancing their climate change agenda.
The Centuries-Old Irrigation System in Morocco is in Danger because of Climate Change.
Relationships were deepener and connections made from a position of serious climate credibility and a strong offer of support.
Every interaction the Police President had was mark by a strong sense of trust. That not only advanced our shared climate agenda but also opened doors for UK producers and suppliers of renewable energy.
Also, it improved our Embassy’s ability to participate in all aspects of the UK Turkey agenda. Including the fight against cross-border crime. Global trade and national interests on both sides of the journey went hand in hand.
UK climate Change Finance Aid Cuts
A few months later. We were in Vietnam as the Cop26 President offered his assistance to the delegation of representatives attempting to close the deal on Viet Nam’s Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP). Under which developed nations would contribute funds to the country’s transition to clean energy.
Similar to this. Our meet with the prime minister of Vietnam. Which last more than an hour and was mark by three separate and cordial hugs between the two leaders. Show how international climate cooperation and interests elsewhere interact.
Senegal Demonstrates that African Nations are not just Passive Recipients of Climate Finance.
Of course, the topics of discussion on the JETP were all purportedly related to coal and the energy transition. Yet, they were also establishing the groundwork for extensive and ongoing cooperation on finance, manufacturing. The global value chain, and technical and policy exchange. Albeit frequently implicitly. To emphasize the significance of the UK and its allies on the JETP partner group Particular the EU and G7. Having a strong and beneficial presence in that particular region might be stating the obvious.
There were also the multilateral forums. from the G20 to the UNGA. And from the annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund to Cop27. I noticed that at many pivotal moments and decision-making stages throughout each of these situations. Friends and allies looked to the UK and the Cop26 President.
Consider the last moments of Cop27 in Sharm el-Sheikh. The likelihood of a full-scale Cop collapse increased as ancient North South animosity increased and discussions about 1.5C. Fossil fuels. Loss and damage heated up.
The COP26 President once again acted as an impartial arbitrator as the major players in world geopolitics gathered to negotiate a fair compromise against the dramatic backdrop of the UN Blue Zone’s bank of ticking clocks.
UK Advisors said it is Not on Track to Achieve Net Zero.
That work benefited the global climate agenda, and it did not adversely affect the UK’s standing abroad. In the world of international politics and diplomacy These kinds of moments—moments of fair brokering, expertise. And friendship—are remember.
And it is unquestionably in our national interest to have as many friends as possible as we look to navigate the challenging geopolitics that we face. Not least in the one country one vote system at the General Assembly. As former environment minister Lord Zac Goldsmith noted in his explosive resignation letter on Friday.
So. Rout was possibly correct in stating that national interests cannot compete with global benefits like climate action within the current structure of both conceptions. Yet he wasn’t actually illustrating an impasse. He was actually shedding light on how narrow and internally defined our national interest has become. We must concentrate our efforts on fixing that.
Uk Climate Change Finace aid Cuts, Norway Allows Oil and Gas Fields.
Political leaders in the UK must consciously decide to take the reins of leadership at the conclusion of this parliament and the start of the next. That requires, as a first step, making the courageous domestic decisions necessary to safeguard and rebuild the UK’s international credibility.
Additionally. It entails committing the required resources on a global scale. Including honoring the once flagship but now in jeopardy climate finance pledge. Uk climate change finace aid cuts at the very least by promising to make up any shortfall over the course of the following parliamentary term.
If we can quickly complete the aforementioned tasks, we could just be pardon for our little post-Cop26 lapse.
There is literally no time to squander, and one need no longer be a scientist to understand this.
Currently, Alex Urwin works in climate philanthropy. He formerly worked as a researcher in the UK prime minister’s office as well as a copywriter for Cop26 President Alok Sharma.