The Department for International Development has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question:
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps his Department is taking to ensure all UK aid projects are environmentally sustainable.
Good development takes account of climate change and environmental sustainability, and DFID is increasingly putting climate and environment at the heart of the UK aid agenda in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.
The department’s rules for designing and implementing programmes charge staff with considering sustainability and resilience, including climate change and environmental shocks. As well as informing the appraisal of new projects, staff are expected to manage environmental risks throughout implementation, in line with DFID’s environmental and social safeguards. DFID has a cadre of specialist climate and environment advisers who support teams to meet these requirements.
In July this year, the Government committed in the Green Finance Strategy to align our Official Development Assistance with the Paris Agreement, that is to support low-carbon and climate resilient development. The Prime Minister also recently announced that the UK would be doubling the quantity of International Climate Finance we provide to support developing countries from 2021.
Since 2011, UK aid has provided 26 million people with improved access to clean energy, and helped 57 million people to cope with the effects of climate change. It has also reduced greenhouse gas emissions internationally by 16 million tonnes – the equivalent to taking three million cars off the road for a year.