The UK has “added” around £150m to its climate-aid spending in developing countries by changing how it defines “climate finance”.
The UK government is to spend millions of pounds helping countries prepare for future humanitarian disasters in a radical shake-up of its development policy.
The change is expected to be part of a new White Paper designed to make Britain’s foreign aid spending go further while also finding new sources of international finance.
Ministers hope the 140-page policy document can help restore Britain’s reputation as a development superpower after years of aid cuts.
It is understood the paper has been endorsed by world leaders, global philanthropists and international finance chiefs.
Ministers are also hoping to win cross-party support in Parliament. So the seven-year plans survive beyond the next election regardless of the outcome.
The government committed in 2019 to spending £11.6bn on ICF between 2021/22 and 2025/26. It said this would amount to “doubling” its ICF spending from its previous five-year target of £5.8bn.
In his statement to parliament on 17 October, development minister Andrew Mitchell set out “how we expect to meet our target”, publishing figures for the total spend in 2021/22 and 2022/23, plus estimated ranges for the following three years.
The figure he gave for 2021/22 was £1.65bn. This is £181.6m more than the £1.47bn figure provided to Carbon Brief by FOI earlier this year.
The ICF figure given for 2022/23 was £1.63bn, which is £267.4m more than the £1.36bn figure stated in Carbon Brief’s FOI results. That number was based on “provisional” data provided by the government.
In total, this amounts to an additional £449.1m over these two years.
As the chart below shows, the new figures mean ICF has increased since 2020/21 rather than declined.