We made four recommendations to government following this rapid review, finding that the commitment to align all UK aid with the Paris Agreement reflects the urgency of the climate crisis, but a more ambitious approach is needed to achieve the transformative impact necessary for pursuing low-emission, climate-resilient development.
- The UK has made a strong and relevant commitment to Paris alignment of aid
- The early climate risk assessment required for Paris alignment is only a first step towards identifying the risks presented by climate change
- The development of a government-wide fossil fuel policy is widely welcomed, but there is insufficient guidance on how to determine exemptions to this rule
- Aligning aid with developing countries’ national climate planning processes is critical
- Currently, the UK does not apply positive selection tools or a portfolio-wide approach to supporting developing countries in their pursuit of Paris alignment
- The UK government could pre-empt, through its public communications, the potential risk that efforts to achieve Paris alignment of ODA are conflated with the endeavour to provide international climate finance to developing countries
- There are gaps in the Paris alignment of UK ODA and nuances in how FCDO applies its alignment tools. A significant proportion of UK aid is largely reliant on implementing organisations’ own efforts to achieve Paris alignment
- In a time of crisis and transition, the UK government has been slow to begin implementation of its commitment to align aid with the Paris Agreement
- There is not yet a roadmap for how the UK government will develop its approach to aligning UK aid with the Paris Agreement
- Staff capacity and capability appears insufficient to deliver Paris alignment of UK aid
- Lines of accountability for progress on the Paris alignment commitment are unclear
- Monitoring and reporting mechanisms for Paris alignment are unclear, and there are no learning processes in place
- The UK’s influencing efforts within the multilateral system have been effective and could be taken further.
- The UK should ensure that a commitment to align ODA with the Paris Agreement, with timebound milestones, is embedded at the heart of the forthcoming International Development Strategy.
- The UK needs to develop a cross-government reporting and accountability process for Paris alignment of UK ODA that ultimately allows public scrutiny of progress.
- The UK should urgently build appropriate capacity and capabilities across its ODA spending teams in order to design and deliver alignment of UK aid with the Paris Agreement.
- The UK should work with other leading countries, including developing countries, to establish and promote international best practice on Paris alignment of ODA.
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