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Although global efforts are intensifying in the aim to reach a concrete deal, recent events have shown that the UK is reducing its climate change diplomacy budget.

Data demonstrate that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has cut spending on its key climate change activities by 39% over the past three years.

In relation to that, experts argue that this decision will undermine the UK’s capacity to influence other countries’ positions on climate action in the run-up to the global deal expected in 2015.

Figures show that until 2010 the UK government has played a central role in shaping the global debate on climate change. In that context, there was a growing awareness of the importance to address climate change with adequate measures as a fundamental national interest.

Recent researches explain that between 2011-12 and 2013-14, the spending for activities related to climate change and the low carbon economy and energy security have decreased 28%, from £22m to £16m.

This spending was allocated under the Prosperity Fund that has the objective to foster actions and measures on global issues, especially in areas of crucial importance to the UK.

Moreover, the monetary plan for FCO’s climate change and energy department, special representative for climate change and overseas missions was cut by 39%, from £7.5m in 2011-12 to £4.5 million in 2013-14.

These data result in a significant change in the UK’s priority: spending on energy and resource security projects have increased by 11% while climate change projects have faced a 39% reduction.

This situation will be increasingly important in relation to climate talks in Paris that will take place next year with the objective to reach a global deal.

Climate change and environmental issues are currently playing a core role, at the center of the international agenda: most major embassies have a team that focus on the low carbon sector. Additionally, around 20 officials are working on climate related activities in Beijing.


The gLAWcal Team

EPSEI project

Friday, 1 August 2014

(Source: The Guardian)