Thank you for contacting me about the devastating impacts of climate change. I agree that the UK should keep its funding promises to farmers in low-income countries taking on the climate crisis.

For too long climate change has been viewed as tomorrow’s problem – an issue that will affect future generations. The urgency for change has become strikingly evident, in light of the recent extreme flooding across Europe and the extreme heat that has been experienced in Pakistan and Canada.

On the present trajectory, the world is still on course for around 2.7°C of global warming. It is therefore vital that governments around the world act. In my view, agriculture is a key part of the solution to both nature restoration and climate change.

I note that at the COP26 Conference in Glasgow in November 2021, the 141 countries attending issued a joint Declaration on Forests and Land Use. This Declaration commits the signatories to the “development of profitable, sustainable agriculture, and recognition of the multiple values of forests, while recognising the rights of Indigenous Peoples, as well as local communities”. It also contains a pledge to “redesign agricultural policies and programmes to incentivise sustainable agriculture, promote food security, and benefit the environment”.

I believe the UK Government must do more if these commitments are to be met. I strongly opposed the decision to reduce aid spending from the legally binding target of 0.7% of gross national income to 0.5% in 2021. This decision came despite the Government’s manifesto pledge to maintain the 0.7% commitment. The UK was the only G7 nation to cut its aid budget in 2021. In my opinion, this made it harder for the Prime Minister to play a leadership role at both the G7 and COP26 summits, despite both summits being hosted in the UK.

I firmly believe the 0.7% commitment is a vital way to achieve future shared prosperity and peace around the world. COVID-19 has shown us how interconnected the world is, and how vulnerable we are to global challenges such as climate change.

I assure you I will continue to call on Ministers to reverse their decision to reduce the UK’s aid budget and I will continue to do what I can to hold them to account to keep their climate promises.

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