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05 December 2012

Christian agencies welcome climate change promise

Christian agencies welcome climate change promise

Christian development agencies have welcomed the UK's pledge to provide new money for poorer countries to adapt to the effects of climate change.

Secretary of state for energy and climate change Ed Davey announced the plans at the UN climate change summit in Doha, Qatar, which is taking place this week.

Pledging £1.8 billion of new money to poorer countries, Mr Davey outlined the importance of averting climate catastrophe.

The money will help developing countries towards a low carbon pathway and help them tackle the effects of climate change.

Christian Aid and Tearfund are among the organisations who welcomed the announcement.

Christian Aid's senior climate change adviser Mohamed Adow said: "We welcome this new pledge by the UK to provide mid-term climate finance. It is an encouraging move and forces the hand of other developed countries. The UK must push them to make their own commitments.

"If other developed countries continue to offer vague assurances rather than solid commitments, their claims about showing leadership in tackling climate change are like a mirage in the Qatari desert.

"The UK has promised that half of the £1.8 billion will go towards helping countries adapt to climate change, which is also welcome. Previously, most climate finance has gone on mitigation efforts to reduce emissions. Given the terrifying impact of climate change already making itself felt, this is a step in the right direction.

"We now need other developed countries collectively to close the finance gap."

Laura Taylor, head of public policy at Tearfund, added that the announcement was "good news" for those affected by climate change.

She said: "We hope that we will see other developed countries following the UK's example in Doha and commit more climate finance beyond the end of this year.

"The amount of money available to help developing countries deal with climate change needs to be scaled-up over the coming years if rich nations are to meet their pledge of $100 billion a year by 2020.

"To do this, we'll need to look to other, new sources of finance. Tearfund and others, including Bill Gates, believe that raising finance from international shipping is a promising new source."