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

Read the approach paper

Our approach

In 2014, ICAI conducted a review of the UK’s International Climate Fund which looked at climate change adaptation, low-carbon development, and forestry. This review focuses on low-carbon development to allow for a deeper assessment of performance. Adaptation to climate change is excluded, as it was partially covered by the ICAI review on building resilience to natural disasters, and the forestry objective is excluded as it involves a much smaller investment.

We conducted a performance review because of the scale and maturity of the UK’s international climate investments. We covered the period from 2016-17, the start of the current phase of UK International Climate Finance, to 2017-18.

Review questions

The review answers the following questions:

  1. Does the UK’s approach to low-carbon development reflect the needs of developing countries and its international commitments to climate finance?
  2. How effective is UK International Climate Finance at promoting investment in low-carbon development?
  3. How well do UK investments in low-carbon development promote and reflect learning and evidence?




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