Centre for Climate Justice influences report on UK Aid Spending

08 May 2019

Professor Tahseen Jafry

Professor Tahseen Jafry

A landmark report from the UK’s International Development Select Committee calling for major changes in the way the country’s £13.9 billion Aid budget is spent is being welcomed by the Director of the University’s Centre for Climate Justice, Professor Tahseen Jafry.

Prof Jafry said: “Placing climate change at the centre of the UK’s Aid Strategy and Funding is an important development.  We were invited to present our research to the Committee, and it is encouraging to see that MPs have not only embraced our evidence but are using it to underpin many of the recommendations they are now pressing to be adopted. This must happen without delay.”

She continued: “There is growing evidence of a Global Climate Emergency and the Committee has accepted the principles of Climate Justice should be used to guide our decisions on aid spending in the future. This means helping the world’s most vulnerable communities to re-build lives, build resilience to future extreme weather events and work towards sustainable development and a climate just world.”  

Professor Jafry, who is chairing the world’s first international Forum on Climate Justice in Glasgow next month, was invited to Westminster to explain the concept of Climate Justice to the Committee. She said: “At the moment, the way money designated to tackle climate change is spent makes it difficult for developing countries to access finance, and actually discourages local-level involvement. It means the projects our Development Aid is funding are predominantly large-scale projects, often with little benefit to recipient countries.”

This report calls for radical changes in international climate finance spending, using the principles of Climate Justice to ensure this money brings maximum benefits in addressing both the causes and impacts of climate change while promoting sustainable development.  We asked MPs to recommend this step change in the way our aid programme is designed. They have listened, the Secretary of State for International Development says he is taking this report very seriously and now we need the UK Government to act.”

The report also references the Centre for Climate Justice’s ground-breaking research on climate migration and population displacement and recognises international policy frameworks, aid interventions, and national instruments do not adequately address the needs of people forced to move as a result of climate change. Professor Jafry said: “It is encouraging to see the committee advocating the UK Government should support this emerging area of research which is at the heart of our Centre’s work. We urgently need to improve data on climate migration, and the UK could be leading the global conversation around how aid delivery structures and international frameworks will need to adapt.”

Read more on Prof Jafry’s blog