UK’s Much Vaunted “Climate Aid” Is Just Recycled Aid.

By Paul Homewood


h/t Dennis Ambler




We hear a lot about all of the “climate aid” money the UK is handing out to developing countries. And, of course, it is all totted up towards the global target of $100bn a year, which is supposed to be due by 2020.

For instance, Harriet Baldwin, Minister of State at the Dept for International Development (DFID) provided the above answer to a question in Parliament last October.

£5.8bn sounds a lot of money. But when I checked it out with DFID, it turns out that this money is simply allocated from the existing Overseas Development Assistance Budget. In turn, the ODA is fixed by law at 0.7% of GDP.



BEIS and DEFRA, who are responsible for some of the payments, gave similar answers.


We may recall that the Copenhagen Accord was quite specific, that this $100bn had to be new and additional money:

 “Scaled up, new and additional, predictable and adequate funding as well as improved access shall be provided to developing countries……

The collective commitment by developed countries is to provide new and additional resources, including forestry and investments through international institutions, approaching USD 30 billion for the period 2010 – 2012 with balanced allocation between adaptation and mitigation. Funding for adaptation will be prioritized for the most vulnerable developing countries, such as the least developed countries, small island developing States and Africa. In the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation, developed countries commit to a goal of mobilizing jointly USD 100 billion dollars a year by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries.”


It is true that Britain’s overseas aid spending has increased in real terms since 2009, because of the new statutory requirement to spend 0.7% of GDP. However, this requirement was not introduced to facilitate climate funding.

What is absolutely clear is that every penny now spent on climate aid has to be funded by cuts in other aid areas. It certainly cannot therefore be regarded as “new and additional”.

Whether the money could have been better spent elsewhere is debatable!

Maybe Chris Law would have been better advised to ask “What areas of overseas aid have been cut to finance climate aid?”


Burkino Faso

And what about how this money is spent?

Harriet Baldwin gave the example of Burkino Faso, who she said need to prepare for heavy rains.

According to the World Bank:

 Located between the Sahara Desert to the north and coastal rainforests to the south, Burkina Faso is prone to chronic drought, flash floods, wind storms, and disease outbreaks.



And according to KNMI, monthly extremes of rainfall were higher prior to 1960:

 time series


In other words, the country already suffers from the problem of floods. What Baldwin is really funding is building resilience against bad weather, not climate change. A highly commended activity, I have no doubt, but nothing to do with climate.

I also have little doubt that similar, weather related projects have been funded in the past, without being rebadged as “climate”.


As for overall rainfall, the current 10-year average is bang on the long term mean. The Sahel drought, which coincided with global cooling, is evident in the 1970s and 80s. Also there was a much wetter period between the 1930s and 60s.

However, rainfall levels in recent decades have been little different to the early 20thC.




It’s not clear that much is happening with temperatures either:


time series


As for the aid money, it is questionable how much Burkino Faso will actually see. As Harriet Baldwin pointed out, the aid is channelled via the Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters programme (BRACED).

Their website notes that:

BRACED is helping people become more resilient to climate extremes in South and Southeast Asia and in the African Sahel and its neighbouring countries. To improve the integration of disaster risk reduction and climate adaptation methods into development approaches, BRACED seeks to influence policies and practices at the local, national and international level.

DFID funding for BRACED has been awarded as 3-year grants to 15 projects. Project summaries and contact details can be found below. These grants are managed by a Fund Manager, led by KPMG, who oversee the contract and financial management of the grants, monitor project progress, and manage due diligence and compliance. DFID have also appointed a Knowledge Manager, led by ODI, who are working to generate new knowledge, evidence and learning on resilience and adaptation in partnership with the BRACED projects and resilience community. Information about the Fund Manager and Knowledge Manager consortiums can be found below.


The fat cats at KPMG and ODI will doubtlessly cream off a nice slice of the funding. Back in 2016, the Public Accounts Committee that the DFID shelled out £98m in the previous year to the Big Four accountancy companies.


January 7, 2019 at 12:57PM

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