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Climate Change

Volume 504: debated on Wednesday 20 January 2010

7. What plans he has to provide financial assistance to lesser developed countries for the purposes of their adaptation to the effects of climate change. (311681)

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has committed £1.5 billion over the next three years to help developing countries tackle climate change. Half of that will be spent on helping poor and vulnerable countries adapt to the effects of climate change.

As part of a cross-party delegation, I recently visited some of the most vulnerable communities in the Pacific islands, where we saw at first hand the devastation that rising sea levels cause. Will my hon. Friend therefore tell the House what further financial or, indeed, other assistance we can give those people to help their communities?

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s announcement was part of an effort at Copenhagen to galvanise fast-start finance and help developing countries, such as those that my hon. Friend has just described, to get the funding that they need immediately in order to make their countries more resilient to the impact of climate change. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and other Ministers helped to secure commitments worth some $10 billion a year by 2012 to help with that challenge.

Will the Minister go to the international water conference in March, given that people from Pump Aid, whom I met today, and Water Aid are concerned about the situation not only in Haiti but elsewhere—in Africa and the rest of the world—regarding the serious problem of sanitation?

At the risk of ruining the hon. Gentleman’s reputation, may I commend him for his consistent campaigning on water and sanitation issues? He will be aware of the substantial increase that we have made in aid for water and sanitation projects. He has asked me a specific question about a specific conference, and I shall have a look at that and write to him privately.