Climate, CSR

The Ayrton Fund, launched by PM Boris Johnson at UNGA today to provide £1b to tackle climate change in developing countries

UK Government to fund British-led development of new climate tackling technology

British scientists will be able to access up to £1b of funding to develop and test new technology targeted at tackling climate change in developing countries, the British Government has announced today.

The initiative, called the Ayrton Fund, was launched by Prime Minister Boris Johnson  at the UN General Assembly today. Its aim is to provide developing countries access to the latest cutting-edge technology to help reduce their emissions and meet global climate change targets.

The new fund plans to aid British scientists and allow them to work in partnership with other scientists from around the world to transform their energy sectors and reduce emissions through the provision of low-emission solutions and affordable access to technology.

Funding initiatives in developing countries is of clear importance with a 2019 UN report highlighting that whilst developing countries are leading the way in climate ambition, they face constraints. Lack of awareness and unreliable data remain major bottlenecks, and the biggest factor limiting climate ambition is access to or availability of finance, the report says.

Alok Sharma, MP and Secretary of State for International Development since July 2019 said:

“Climate Change will hit the poorest communities hardest. The UK’s pioneering work through the Ayrton Fund will fund innovative ways to develop clean energy solutions for homes, which will transform the lives of the most vulnerable.”

The publication of the new Ayrton Fund plans come on the opening day of the UN summit in New York where new pathways and methods of action will need to be delivered to help meet newly revised climate goals.

There is now a need to accelerate actions and improve on the efforts agreed in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The UN Secretary-General António Guterres is asking leaders from government, business and civil society to come with plans to address the global climate emergency, and spark the transformation that is urgently needed and propel action.

The importance of this summit is underlined by the fact that the United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Change has now stated that the Paris climate agreement is now no longer enough to limit global warming to acceptable levels.

Luis Alfonso de Alba, appointed by Antonio Guterres as his Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Summit said:

“The biggest problem we have is that we need to increase the targets. If we fulfil the commitments that were made in Paris in 2015 we will still be very much below what is needed. “The latest reports of the scientific community tell us that we need to double and in some cases to triple what we have committed in Paris. Climate change is moving faster than we expected. The Summit will focus on building momentum for enhancing national ambition and accelerating implementation of climate action towards 2020 and beyond asset out in previous climate accords.”

Author: Nick Witts

PR, Media & Communications – Climate Specialist at Treasure Earth Prize