The UK has announced a new initiative by which it intends to provide developing countries with its “world-leading climate and adaptation expertise” in an attempt “successfully tackle climate change”.
The programme, launched by energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey, combines the knowledge from leading UK organisations and government departments to provide “wide-ranging expertise” to developing countries who may not have access to such technical knowledge.
“The UK is a global leader in tackling climate change and the major threat it poses to our prosperity and security,” said Davey.
“With the crunch climate talks in Paris just months away, the world needs every ounce of expertise and effort available if we are to limit temperature rises and avoid the worst impacts of climate change.”
Davey added, “That is why I want to bring together the UK’s wide ranging climate service expertise so we can assist other nations in dealing with the impacts of climate change.”
The announcement was made on Thursday at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, with representatives from the Met Office, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, the Committee on Climate Change, a number of governmental departments, and several other key groups and organisations, all of whom are pledging their support to the new programme.
The offer of expertise comes at a critical time for developing nations, many of which are on the frontline of climate change, in more ways than one. China and India are among the many nations at severe risk of the effects of climate change, with millions of citizens living in geographically tenuous regions with little access to energy or clean water – a situation which will only deteriorate further as the impacts of climate change continue to grow.
Nations throughout Africa are another example of countries in dire need of external help. While the continent is now seen as the new frontier for clean energy expansion, with many European and Asian manufacturers racing to develop substantial market leadership, its significant rural populations are at ever-increasing risk of being left out in the cold in the wake of global warming.
The UK’s Department of Energy & Climate Change highlighted the possible impact the Met Office could have in such a situation. With “world-class expertise” at its disposal, the Met Office could work to improve seasonal forecasting in Africa. Similarly, the UK’s Environment Agency’s Climate Ready Support Service could extend its experience in providing advice and information to businesses, the public sector, and other organisations on climate change adaptation.
Photo: Danumurthi Mahendra via Flickr