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Green Climate Fund

Oral Answers to Questions — International Development – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 12th January 2011.

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Photo of Fiona O'Donnell Fiona O'Donnell Labour, East Lothian 11:30 am, 12th January 2011

What discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change on financial contributions to support climate change mitigation for developing countries through the green climate fund.

Photo of Stephen O'Brien Stephen O'Brien The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State regularly discusses international climate issues with the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change and his ministerial colleagues. We welcome the agreement at Cancun to establish a green climate fund, but no decisions have yet been taken on a financial contribution. [Interruption.]

Photo of Fiona O'Donnell Fiona O'Donnell Labour, East Lothian

Thank you, Mr Speaker. I welcome the reaffirmation of the need to support developing countries in responding to climate change, as agreed at Cancun last year, but we still do not have the detail of where the money will come from. Will the Minister reassure the House that money will not be diverted from the aid budget, but that his Government will make additional funds available by doing as we did in government, and setting a cap on the amount of money that can be transferred from the aid budget to respond to climate change?

Photo of Stephen O'Brien Stephen O'Brien The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development

The clear answer is that the £2.9 billion of international climate finance announced in the spending review is being met out of a rising overseas development assistance budget and will continue to account for less than 10% of ODA, as indeed set by the previous Government.

Photo of Paul Maynard Paul Maynard Conservative, Blackpool North and Cleveleys

Will the Minister join me in congratulating students at St Mary's college in my constituency who have been campaigning with the Catholic Fund for Overseas Development to lobby for greater Government aid to developing nations to help to mitigate climate change? Will he assure the House, however, that any money that goes to those developing nations will be subject to robust oversight to make sure that it is spent properly and accountably?

Photo of Stephen O'Brien Stephen O'Brien The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development

I am pleased to join in congratulating my hon. Friend's local college on its efforts and support. I can assure him that at all times the expenditure made in relation to these and other development issues is being subjected to the new transparency and accountability programmes and rules that we are introducing. That is live as we speak, so he can assure his college that that is in place.