Overseas Aid: Environment Protection

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 7th July 2021.

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Photo of Helen Hayes Helen Hayes Labour, Dulwich and West Norwood

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the reduction in official development assistance spending for environmental research on the Government's ability to fulfil its commitment in the Integrated Review to maintain a place at the leading edge of science and technology.

Photo of Helen Hayes Helen Hayes Labour, Dulwich and West Norwood

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the reduction in official development assistance spending for environmental research on the Government's ability to fulfil its commitment in the Integrated Review to climate and biodiversity.

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The economic impact of the Covid pandemic has forced the UK Government to take tough, but necessary decisions to move to a target of spending 0.5% of GNI on ODA in 2021, as a temporary measure. This has included cuts to ODA Science and Technology funding. We have worked with a range of stakeholders including UKRI, universities as well as directly with grant holders and funding partners to mitigate the impact of these cuts, adjust timeframes and results expectations, and continue to maximise the impact for every pound spent.

Despite the reductions, the UK remains a development superpower committing to double International Climate Finance to £11.6 billion and committing at least £3 billion of International Climate Finance to nature and biodiversity over the next five years. The UK is supporting new global targets to conserve or protect at least 30% of global land and at least 30% of the global ocean by 2030. FCDO ODA will be targeted to addressing seven global challenges facing the world's poorest including climate change and biodiversity, and science, research and technology. In 2021/22 the FCDO will make £251 million of science, research and technology investments across all seven challenges.

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