The Hague, Netherlands, 29 March, 2021 – As part of its preparations for the official UN climate summit COP26, the UK government is to host a virtual Climate and Development summit on Wednesday 31 March aiming to address issues faced by developing countries most vulnerable to climate change.

The summit, co-hosted by COP President Alok Sharma and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, has debt relief and climate finance high on the agenda and comes a few months after the UK government announced it would cut overseas aid from 0.7% of Gross National Income to 0.5%.

It is estimated that climate change may push an additional 132 million people into poverty by 2030 and recent figures say cyclones, floods, and forest fires are displacing three times more people than conflict. Two years on from Cyclone Idai, 104,000 people in Central Mozambique are still living resettlement sites and accommodation centers after three cyclones hit the same area in two years. In Northern Mozambique, where cyclone Kenneth hit in 2019, nearly 670,000 people are currently displaced.

“Unfortunately, Mozambique is just one example of too many climate impacted communities around the world to count. There is deep injustice in the fact that those who did the least to cause the climate crisis are paying the price for it. Countries must recognize the ongoing suffering caused by climate change — especially for women and young people — and stand in solidarity with the vulnerable in action as well as words,” said Chikondi Chabvuta, CARE’s Southern Africa Regional Advocacy Advisor.

“At this summit convened in the UK we want to see leaders develop a clear plan to ensure action on loss and damage is delivered at COP26. All donor countries and multilateral development banks must also provide plans for significantly increasing climate finance by 2025, and commit to allocating at least 50% of their climate finance to adaptation,” Chabvuta added.

The world has already warmed by more than 1°C since pre-industrial times and the impacts are being felt across the globe. However, with COVID-19 and related crises compounding existing vulnerabilities, the consequences for poor and marginalized communities are by far the most severe. Women especially are routinely on the frontlines of the climate emergency and are 80 percent of people displaced by climate change. Even so women are often marginalized from making decisions on how to respond to or solve the climate crisis.

“We support the UK Government’s goal of an ambitious COP 26 Presidency and summit this year. A successful negotiation will require support for developing countries most affected by climate emergencies already, and an ambitious outcome which really addresses the scale of the crisis. This means an increase in climate finance, with at least 50% going to adaptation and more of it accessible to grassroots and women-led organizations, so that those most impacted can lead the solutions. In order to encourage other countries to increase climate finance, the UK should therefore stop the aid cuts which are about to be made to UK global funding in 2021, which undermine its credibility as a climate leader,” said Laurie Lee, Chief Executive Officer of CARE International UK.

Summit invitees include France, Germany and the United States. The outcomes are likely to set the tone for negotiations ahead of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties, otherwise known as COP26, hosted by the UK in partnership with Italy this November in Glasgow, Scotland.


Notes to Editor

Please contact Ruby Wright for further comment, questions or interview requests for CARE International UK CEO, Laurie Lee.


Ruby Wright, Press and PR Manager, CARE International UK,

Juliet Perry, Global Communications Lead on Climate Change, CARE International,, +31615574513