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Speech: Building support for developing countries in adaptation and resilience against the effects of climate change

Ladies, gentlemen, friends.

I’d like to start by thanking Mr. Wangdi, Mr Ligoya and all of you at the LDC Group for organising this event.

The LDC Group is an excellent example of how we can best tackle the climate crisis:

By working together.

Climate change is an area where international action and co-operation are vital.

We have seen, time and time again, that its impacts take no notice of national borders.

Across East Africa, floods have displaced hundreds of thousands.

While in Oregon, in the United States, wildfires have forced more than half a million people from their homes.

Climate change is a global problem, and it requires global solutions.

We have a collective responsibility to reduce emissions, and to adapt to the realities of our changing climate.

That is why, here in the UK, we have made a legal commitment to reach net zero by 2050.

It is why we are doubling investment in England’s flood and coastal defences.

And it is why, over the last ten years, UK Aid has helped 66 million people around the world to cope with the effects of climate change.

Ahead of COP26, we are urging all countries to come forward with adaptation plans, and ambitious NDCs.

And to commit to reaching net zero as soon as possible.

But we recognise climate change does not affect us all equally.

Those that have contributed the least to climate change, are suffering the most.

Developed countries like the UK have a responsibility, to support others around the world, just as they pursue adaptation and mitigation at home.

And I am calling on countries to step up to the plate. To provide more finance and assist the most vulnerable.

We are committed to the collective goal of raising £100 billion per year in climate finance by 2020.

The UK is leading by example. We have doubled our International Climate Finance to at least £11.6bn over the next five years.

And I urge all donors to come forward with their future finance commitments by the end of this year.

But we recognise that, although climate change is a global problem, solutions are local.

Adaptation looks very different in Angola compared to in Afghanistan.

So, we know we need to give local people the power and resources to make their own decisions.

We need countries to come forward with their own adaptation plans, led by regions and communities.

Putting climate risk at the centre of all decision making.

But we have heard what you tell us: that development finance is difficult to access.

Processes are bureaucratic.

And that not enough of the money is finding its way to the front line.

I am committed to working with those of you here today, as well as with donors, development banks and climate funds, to make finance more accessible.

And I can tell you that the UK will be the champion of locally led adaptation work, to ensure climate finance gets to where it is most needed.

That is why, with Ireland, we are funding the LIFE-AR project.

Led by you, the LDC countries, this supports long-term planning for adaption and resilience, and helps to get funding to the local level.

We ask other donors to support this programme, to ensure that LDCs are able to put in place the plans.

And as we approach COP26, we are building momentum around adaptation and resilience.

Delivering on the Call to Action we launched this time last year with Egypt, and friends from Bangladesh, the Netherlands, Malawi and St Lucia.

Driving investment, through the Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment, which already represents ten trillion dollars in assets.

And continuing our support for the Risk Informed Early Action Partnership, to make a billion people safer from climate disaster in the next five years.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we must all adapt to the realities of our changing climate.

You, and the communities you serve, are the experts on what that means for the LDC countries.

So, I will support you to take the lead.

I will listen, and I will ensure that your views are heard, as part of our plans for an ambitious and inclusive COP26.

To create a safe and green future for you and your fellow citizens.

Thank you.