The UK today marked a new climate partnership with Colombia and committed £8.5m to protect the country’s unique ecosystem and fight climate change.
The agreement was signed by Colombian Environment Minister Ricardo Lozano and the UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, as the President of Colombia Iván Duque visited the UK. The agreement committed both nations to accelerating the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
The partnership with the South American country comes less than a week after the UK government took the most significant action on climate change of any G7 country in history. The Prime Minister legislated to bring greenhouse gas emissions down to net zero by 2050.
As part of the £8.5m investment, £3.5m will help protect Colombia’s ecosystem – the second most biodiverse in the world, with over 30,000 plant and lichen species. Royal Botanic Gardens Kew will build a public database of useful plants, helping entrepreneurs make money sustainably from their domestic plant species.
An additional £5m will help towards turning Colombia’s finance industry green – sharing the City of London’s expertise – and introducing low emission vehicles into Colombia’s major cities.
UK Energy and Clean Growth Minister Chris Skidmore said: “The UK is leading the world in the fight against rising temperatures, reducing our emissions by over 40% since 1990 and legislating for net zero emissions by 2050 – one of the first major economies to do so.
“But we can’t tackle this threat to our very existence on our own. It is only through international cooperation that we can protect our precious planet. That’s why we’ve signed this important new agreement with the government of Colombia to work together to protect their unique environment and help them reach even more ambitious climate targets – setting an example to other countries in South America.”
Colombia has committed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2030, and by 30% by 2030 if it receives international financial support.
Deforestation and change in land use account for a significant amount of Colombia’s emissions and the country is facing a new set of challenges to protect the Amazon.
The UK has worked with Colombia in tackling deforestation, investing around £70m in projects which include helping farmers switch to more sustainable farming methods and helping more than 11,000 families to better care for Colombia’s forests.