Sunak set to back climate reparations but Boris says we cant afford

Boris Johnson: I'm the spirit of Glasgow COP26

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Rishi Sunak last night paved the way for Britain to pay reparations to countries most impacted by climate change. The Prime Minister gave his approval for the matter to be one of the issues discussed at the COP27 summit in Egypt this week.

Touching down late last night in Sharm el-Sheikh, he vowed to push for countries to unite to leave “a legacy we could be proud of” for the children of the world.

UK negotiators are said to have backed a last-minute agreement to address “loss and damage” payments to those countries badly impacted by the changing climate.

However, giving a speech of his own at COP27 this morning, former Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned Mr Sunak must reject the demands for reparations.

The incumbent of No10 agreed to discuss damage payments while hard-working Britons continue to be impacted by the cost-of-living crisis at home.

The Prime Minister has warned “there are difficult decisions to come” in the weeks and months ahead as he seeks to balance the books and tackle soaring inflation.

He has refused to guarantee he will stick by the state pension triple lock pledge the Conservatives made at the last election, and has warned significant public spending cuts are likely to be necessary.

The economic cost of climate change has been forecast to reach $1trillion by 2050.

Mr Johnson dismissed demands for reparations saying the UK “simply doesn’t have the financial resource”.

He said instead countries should “look to the future” and focus on investment and technological solutions to climate change.

Despite the apparent difference of opinion with his successor, the ex-Conservative leader said he was a supporter of Mr Sunak and that he was merely at COP27 as “a foot soldier”.

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Speaking to The Sun on the flight out to Egypt, Mr Sunak said he hoped he would “bump into” Mr Johnson at some point.

“Isn’t it great we have a PM and a former PM both at COP? That says something special about our country,” he said.

“Boris has been a stalwart champion of building a greener future, he deserves praise and credit for that, it is great that he is there.”

Mr Sunak committed to exploring reparations just hours after Labour’s Ed Miliband demanded taxpayer money be sent abroad to cover the cost of global warming.

“This is about the issue also called loss and damage.

“This is the fact that poorer countries are facing massive effects of climate change.

“We see it all around the world,” he told the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg show.

“This is about poorer countries that are on the frontline of the climate crisis – Pakistan had these disastrous floods recently, 30 per cent of the country under water.

“So this is about global solidarity. Yes, we have some historical responsibility but this is about global solidarity and it’s absolutely part of our aid commitment.”

Mr Sunak is set to today confirm £65million in funding for the Nature, People and Climate Investment Fund, which supports indigenous and local forest communities, and new financing for Treevive, which is working to conserve and restore two million hectares of tropical forest.

He will also announce a further £65.5million for the Clean Energy Innovation Facility today, which provides grants to researchers and scientists in developing countries to accelerate the development of clean technology.

The Prime Minister is expected to say: “The world came together in Glasgow with one last chance to create a plan that would limit global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees. The question today is: can we summon the collective will to deliver on those promises?

“I believe we can. By honouring the pledges we made in Glasgow, we can turn our struggle against climate change into a global mission for new jobs and clean growth.

“And we can bequeath our children a greener planet and a more prosperous future. That is a legacy we could be proud of.”

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