Government response to the recommendations of the Independent Commission on the Impact of Aid (ICAI) on: aligning UK aid with the Paris Agreement – World

The government welcomes the Independent Commission for the Impact of Aid (ICAI) review of UK efforts to align Official Development Assistance (ODA) with the Paris Agreement (“alignment from Paris “). We welcome ICAI’s recognition of the progress we have made in meeting this ambitious and important commitment and our continued efforts in this area.

Ensuring that UK ODA spending responds to the challenges of climate change and does not harm nature is an important part of the government’s commitment to tackle climate change and loss. of biodiversity the UK’s number one international priority, as outlined in the 2021 Integrated Review of Security, Defense, Development and Foreign Policy.

Our response to the recommendations set out in the ICAI report is described below.

Recommendation 1

The UK should ensure that a commitment to align ODA with the Paris Agreement, with time-bound milestones, is at the heart of the future international development strategy.

I accept

The causes and consequences of poverty, climate change and environmental degradation are closely linked. As a leading donor, the UK has an important role to play in helping countries develop in ways that accelerate global progress towards net zero emissions and reverse biodiversity loss, and ensure that those who are most exposed and least able to cope with the effects of climate change can adapt and become more resilient.

In 2022, we will define the UK’s approach in a new international development strategy in which we will reflect our approach to these issues. FCDO has already introduced a new program operational framework that aligns all new ODA spending with the Paris Agreement and takes into account nature. We are also working on advancing the time milestones for Paris alignment in all ODA spending departments.

Recommendation 2

The UK needs to develop an intergovernmental reporting and accountability process for Paris alignment with UK ODA that ultimately allows for a public review of progress.

Partially accept

The UK’s commitment to align ODA spending with the Paris climate agreement, as articulated in the 2019 Green Finance Strategy and reiterated in the 2021 Integrated Review, is shared by all departments spending ODA. In accordance with established conventions for public financial management and whole-of-government policy, ministers and accountants in each ministry are required to meet the Paris alignment commitment for their ministry’s spending and report publicly thereon. This is the accountability structure, and for this reason we do not accept the recommendation to develop additional accountability processes.

However, we recognize that we can do more across government to accelerate the implementation of the engagement, within established accountability structures, including our existing high-level intergovernmental climate and climate governance structures. nature. We also accept that we can do more to report on the progress we are making on our engagement. At FCDO, we are looking for ways to do this that could then be replicated in other departments, including through our internal assurance processes, to complement rigorous program controls, including transparency requirements, already in place.

Recommendation 3

The government should urgently build capacity and appropriate capacities across its ODA spending teams to design and align UK aid with the Paris Agreement.

I accept

Departments that spend ODA have a wealth of expertise that is relevant to our efforts to align ODA spending with the Paris climate agreement. This includes specialized capacities in climate and environment, as well as expertise in economics, livelihoods, governance, social development and many other disciplines important to our priorities in mitigation, adaptation and nature. Our first priority is to make the best use of the capacities we already have in the pursuit of the Paris alignment.

Recognizing the nature of our commitment to the Paris Alignment, as part of the UK’s broader goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050, we are also developing a broader learning and development offering for all officials to integrate Paris alignment approaches into HMG’s international work.

Recommendation 4

UK should work with other leading countries, including developing countries, and institutions to establish and promote international best practices on Paris alignment with ODA

I accept

We will continue to champion progress towards the Paris Alignment as part of our continued engagement on climate change and biodiversity loss with other donors in the Organization’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC). Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), as well as bilaterally and through International Financial Institutions.

The United Kingdom welcomes the commitment made on October 27, 2021 by OECD DAC member countries to align development cooperation with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. The commitment states that “climate and environmental impacts must be taken into account in all ODA spending, including in sectors that are not traditionally associated with climate and the environment”. This represents significant progress and will apply to the ODA flows of all DAC donor members, globally.

With the necessary political commitments now in place, we are working to shape international best practices and approaches for Paris Alignment through sharing tools, strategies, policies and case studies with other donors. We are working with the members of the OECD DAC to develop a new benchmark of best climate and environmental practices on the Paris alignment with ODA. We also engage the multilateral system, learning from institutions that have already advanced engagement and working to shape the efforts of those that have yet to implement policies that align their ODA spending with the Paris Agreement. .

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