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Climate Change Financing

Volume 518: debated on Thursday 11 November 2010

4. What discussions he has had on climate change financing in the UN Secretary-General’s high-level advisory group on climate change financing. (23144)

Over the past year, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has had wide-ranging discussions on potential sources of climate change financing as part of his involvement in the high-level advisory group on climate change financing. The discussions have focused on how developed countries can meet their Copenhagen accord commitment to mobilising $100 billion a year of public and private finance by 2020, to assist poorer countries with the climate challenge.

I thank the Minister for that reply, which I am sure we will be able to explore further in my Westminster Hall debate on Cancun next week. Last week’s report should be welcomed for presenting several innovative sources of climate finance, including a tax on aviation and shipping. When can we expect the Government to set out concrete proposals for taking forward any of those options?

They were of course options for the international community, not just for the UK, and we need to do a lot more work collectively to put the flesh on the bones of detailed and radical proposals so that the UK can consider each of them on their merits. I fear that there is still some time to go before we are in a position to do that, but the UK is very much committed to the process and to doing so sooner rather than later.

The Minister will know that some people are already writing down the prospects of a successful agreement at Cancun and talking about Johannesburg next year as the place at which an agreement might be reached. Will the Minister reassure the House that the Government will do everything possible to ensure that an agreement is reached at Cancun? Will he therefore show Britain’s role in that process by providing information about how we will commit climate finance as soon as possible?

I am glad to say that there is strong cross-party commitment to a legally binding global deal, but I do not think that we are being unduly pessimistic in saying that we do not expect a globally binding deal to be reached at Cancun. That seems to be the expectation of most of the key participants. However, I can assure the hon. Gentleman that the UK is committed to making good progress at Cancun across a range of issues, including finance. We have committed in the CSR to a strong role for fast-start finance, details of which we have already announced.