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Overseas Aid: Climate Change

Volume 461: debated on Tuesday 19 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what analysis he has undertaken of the impact of his Department’s aid policies and programmes on climate change. (142891)

The 2006 DFID White Paper recognises that climate change poses the most serious long-term threat to development and poverty reduction. We are working to implement our White Paper commitments on three main fronts: work for a global agreement, including helping developing countries prepare for international negotiations; assisting developing countries to adopt clean energy technologies; and helping developing countries adapt to the impacts of climate change.

We assess how well these policies are being implemented through our standard organisational systems. For example, the Department’s internal Development Committee regularly assesses how well the Department’s policies are being rolled out.

We are considering the changes that will be necessary to how we deliver programmes as a result of climate change. For example we are planning to have procedures in place by 2008 to identify and manage risks associated with climate variability. We have also committed to mainstreaming climate into DFID development activities in climate sensitive sectors, such as agriculture, water, health infrastructure and energy, by 2008, to help developing countries adopt low carbon energy and adapt.

As part of our support to the Clean Energy Investment Framework, we have called for the World Bank and the other multilateral development banks to set out a set of specific targets to cover investments in areas such as renewables and energy efficiency. For example, last year the World Bank committed $860 million in these areas, but it needs to do more. The banks also need to look at their entire investment portfolios including lending for fossil fuels and help Governments make the right choices about their energy mix to underpin sustainable growth and poverty reduction. We expect this analysis to contribute to a better understanding of how to minimise the impact of development investments on carbon emissions.

Our Evaluation Department is currently considering establishing a baseline of data on climate change related indicators to help us better measure the Department’s contribution to helping developing countries mitigate and adapt to climate change.