UK’s financial support for fossil fuels ‘at odds with own climate commitments’

25 Jul 19

Between 2010 and 2017 60% - £4.6bn - of the UK’s support for energy in developing countries went towards fossil fuel sources, according to analysis by the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development. 

In total, the UK provided support for energy in developing countries with a total value of £7.8bn in the seven year period, according the report commissioned by the Overseas Development Institute. 

During this time the UK signed up to the 2015 Paris Agreement in which signatories commit to mitigating the effects of climate change by divesting in fossil fuels. 

Sarah Wykes, CAFOD lead climate analyst, said: “The UK wants to be a leader on climate change, so it’s shocking that UK aid money is still being spent on fossil fuels overseas. 

“At a time when we are reducing the UK’s own reliance on fossil fuels, why are we spending billions of pounds saddling poorer nations with outdated technologies that will cause more climate damage?” 

Spending on fossil fuels was more than three times above that spent on renewable energy (17%). 

CAFOD called on the secretary of state for international development to “immediately stop any aid money being spent on fossil fuels”. 

A government spokesperson said: “Since 2011 around the world, UK aid has provided 17 million people with improved access to clean energy. The UK has committed to net zero emissions by 2050.

“However we need to do more if we are going to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate. As the prime minister announced at the G20 last month, in future we will look for the greenest way to deliver UK aid.

“Developing countries will be hardest hit by climate change. We cannot eradicate poverty without also protecting the environment.”

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