International Climate Finance: UK aid for low-carbon development

The UK’s International Climate Finance shows a convincing approach to promoting low-carbon development and has made a strong commitment to joint international action.

Score: Green/Amber
  1. Status: Completed
  2. Published: 19 February 2019
  3. Type: Performance review
  4. Subject: Climate change and biodiversity
  5. Assessment: Green/Amber
  6. Lead commissioner: Richard Gledhill
  7. SDGs covered:Sustainable cities and communities, Climate action, Life below water, Life on land, Affordable and clean energy, Industry, innovation and infrastructure


The UK’s International Climate Finance (ICF) is a portfolio of investments designed to support the eradication of international poverty by helping developing countries manage risk, build resilience to the impacts of climate change, take up low-carbon development at scale and manage natural resources sustainably.

In 2015 the UK government committed to increasing its climate finance by 50%, to at least £5.8 billion over the five years to 2020-21, including at least £1.7 billion in 2020. In addition to being the UK’s primary instrument for funding international action on climate change, the ICF is also an instrument for influencing others to support global action on climate change.

This review on International Climate Finance: UK aid for low-carbon development assesses the contribution of UK International Climate Finance to promoting low-carbon development in developing countries. This part of the portfolio supports developing countries to shift to a development pathway that minimises emissions while still meeting their developmental goals.

Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals relevant to this review are:

  • Sustainable Development Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities
  • Sustainable Development Goal 13: Climate action
  • Sustainable Development Goal 14: Life below water
  • Sustainable Development Goal 15: Life on land
  • Sustainable Development Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy
  • Sustainable Development Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure



Published 14 June 2018

Evidence gathering


Review publication

Published 19 February 2019

Government response

Published 11 April 2019

Parliamentary scrutiny

IDC hearing 23 October 2019

ICAI follow-up

Published 23 July 2020