Pope Francis

Thank you for contacting me about the comments made by Pope Francis ahead of COP28 and the briefing put together by CAFOD.

I understand your concerns about climate change and the impact it is having on our world. I therefore welcome that tackling climate change is already a top priority for the UK Government.

The landmark Paris Agreement of 2015 aims to halt global warming at well below 2°C, while pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C. Under the UK’s presidency at COP26 in Glasgow, nearly 200 countries agreed to the Glasgow Climate Pact to keep the aim of limiting temperature rises to 1.5°C alive.

Building on the legacy of COP26 and the UK's leadership on net zero, the Government's aim ahead of COP28 is to work with international partners to deliver a COP outcome that puts the world on track to keep 1.5 degrees within reach. I welcome that the Government wants to see ambitious action across all pillars of the Paris agreement (finance, mitigation and adaptation).

I also note your particular concern for countries that contribute the least to climate change but are the most susceptible to its consequences. At COP27 the UK and other parties agreed to establish a Transitional Committee under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to develop loss and damage funding arrangements. I am assured that the UK Government will work closely with members and other UNFCCC parties to ensure these funding arrangements consider how to support countries at high risk of debt distress from climate-related loss and damage. Ministers are committed to making a positive contribution to the committee’s aims and objectives ahead of COP28.

Furthermore, at the Africa Climate Summit in September 2023, the Minister for Climate and the Environment reaffirmed the Government's commitment to spend £11.6 billion on international climate finance, with approximately 40 per cent of this being spent on Africa.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.