The government's climate change pledge falls short for women

9 November 2021

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Our response to the UK Government’s £290m pledge to help poorer countries cope with climate change at COP26.

In response to the UK Government’s £290m pledge to help poorer countries cope with climate change, Sophie Rigg, Senior Climate and Resilience Advisor at ActionAid UK, says:  

This pledge has opened the door for conversations on loss and damage, but it falls woefully short of what countries on the frontlines of climate change need to respond and rebuild after disasters and extreme climate events.   

“ActionAid is calling on world leaders at COP26 to formalise a specific loss and damage fund. They must ensure this finance goes to the communities – and particularly the women and girls – who are dealing with the brunt of the climate crisis. While women on the frontline of climate change have the skills and knowledge to take action, they need access to financial support.  

“Funding for loss and damage must also be new and additional. Whilst the UK government states the £290 million is ‘new’ money, they have also said it will come from the foreign aid budget, which has already faced harsh cuts this year impacting progress on women’s rights.  

“The countries that have done the most to cause climate change need to pay their climate debt to those that have done the least. Loss and damage lies at the heart of climate justice.”  


Sophie Rigg is available for interviews.  

Monicah Kamandau, a climate and feminist activist from Kenya, is at COP26 and also available to comment on the importance of Loss and Damage funding. She is a campaigner and volunteer trainer at ActionAid’s Global Platform in Kenya, where she fights for justice on the intersectionality of feminism and climate. Monicah has led a global youth-led climate campaign for young activists from nine Global South countries. She fights to get attention for the need for climate justice, for rich countries to pay their climate debt, and for greater inclusivity of youth voices in climate debate and the solutions.