Adaptation

Cop26 – in the House of Commons on 15th June 2022.

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Photo of Sally-Ann Hart Sally-Ann Hart Conservative, Hastings and Rye

What progress he plans to make on adaptation in his COP26 presidency year.

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Good progress is being made on adaptation, as was clear at COP26, and it is critical that we work on that. We will continue to do that through the global goal on adaptation, which has just had its first workshop, and by focusing on doubling adaptation finance to £40 billion. An example of what we in the UK are doing to adapt to rising tides around the coast is our coastal accelerator programme, which we have just launched.

Photo of Sally-Ann Hart Sally-Ann Hart Conservative, Hastings and Rye

The reality is that every country, including the UK, will need to adapt to the impacts of climate change, in which nature-based solutions can play a significant role. What steps is my hon. Friend taking to consider the opportunities and policy support needed to implement nature-based solutions across the UK, in ways that deliver for nature, climate and people?

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

I thank my hon. Friend for raising that important issue. Nature-based solutions are critical, and about one third of the mitigation that we need to keep up with 2° of warming can be delivered through natural solutions. That is why the Government are focusing so many of their policies on that issue, whether through flood funding, the new environmental land management scheme, our Nature for Climate fund—that is £740 million and focuses specifically on trees—or peatland restoration. All those things will restore habitats, increase biodiversity and, critically, reduce carbon emissions and sequester carbon.

Photo of Caroline Lucas Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton, Pavilion

We rightly talk about the adaptation finance gap, but as the Minister will know, according to Oxfam the economic costs of loss and damage could be up to £580 billion a year by 2030, yet rich countries are continuing to drag their feet. Will the Government work to ensure that Egypt succeeds where Glasgow failed, so that the £100 billion in climate finance is not just met but exceeded, and so that a new loss and damage finance facility is established at COP27?

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

A major focus of COP26 was attracting climate finance, and £126 billion was attracted for the forest and agriculture sector to work on reducing degradation. We are of course focusing on the just energy transition, which is also important, and that remains a key focus, in particular doubling finance for adaptation to £40 billion by 2025.

Photo of Rehman Chishti Rehman Chishti Conservative, Gillingham and Rainham

I very much welcome the Minister’s answer about working with all sectors on delivering on COP26. Before the United Kingdom hosted COP26, the Secretary of State visited the Vatican to meet His Holiness Pope Francis, and to receive a document signed by all faith leaders about their commitments on climate change. The United Kingdom is hosting the international ministerial conference on freedom of religion or belief, which I had the pleasure of signing off during my term in office. Will the Secretary of State and his Department work with the Foreign Office to ensure that the responsibility of faith leaders on climate change, and their work, is taken forward?

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

I thank my hon. Friend for raising that important point, and I know the COP President will be happy to continue the work that is already under way.