33 million people given improved access to clean energy with UK aid


31 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions were reduced globally in the last nine years as a result of UK intervention, the equivalent to taking 6.7 million cars off the road for a year, according to new climate finance data.

UK International Climate Finance (ICF) investments aim to reduce poverty by helping developing countries build resilience and manage the risks of climate change.

Developing countries are the hardest hit by climate change and the World Bank estimates that without intervention the impact of rising emissions could push an additional 100 million people into poverty by 2030.

International Development Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan commented: “As the world starts to recover from coronavirus, we have a unique opportunity to help the poorest countries build back greener from this devastating pandemic and become more resilient to the impacts of climate change.

“UK aid is fighting climate change while lifting people out of poverty.

“As we prepare to host COP26, the UK will be pushing for international action to tackle these two challenges.”

The results show that since 2011, UK aid investment has:

  • Provided 33 million people with improved access to clean energy, including connections to off-grid renewable energy sources, access to solar lanterns and clean cook stoves.
  • Installed 2000 MW of clean energy capacity, equivalent to the capacity of 454 average sized UK offshore wind turbines.
  • Helped 66 million people to cope with the effects of climate change, for example by providing training on how to grow climate-resilient crops.
  • Leveraged £2.2 billion of private finance to fight climate change.

Through International Climate Finance, UK aid is investing in innovative solutions for tackling climate change.

In Indonesia, this support has created a legally binding agreement between the Indonesian government and forest managers to prevent deforestation and provide new, sustainable jobs for local communities.

Through this programme, more than 270,000 hectares of forest – the equivalent of nearly 400,000 football pitches – have been protected.

COP26 President and Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma, added: “As hosts of COP26, the UK is committed to tackling climate change in a manner which leaves no one behind, especially countries that need urgent support.

“I am proud that our International Climate Finance scheme is part of this work, from protecting our precious forests to ensuring developing countries are supported through adaptation and resilience measures and assisted to transition to cleaner, greener energy.”