UK spending nearly £2bn on fossil fuel projects overseas

Tuesday 9th July 2019 | Jake

In UK government it’s often say one thing, do another. The latest instance of the government’s commitment to the mantra comes courtesy of the revelation the UK has spent almost £2bn supporting fossil projects abroad over the past year. The figure represents the amount of money UK Export Finance (UKEF) committed to projects overseas. UKEF is the government’s export credit agency, and is responsible for promoting British exports.

DeSmog UK, an environmental journalism website, analysed the UKEF’s annual report, released only two months since parliament signalled it would support a declaration of a climate emergency. The report boasted of the increase in support for fossil fuel projects. The export credits UKEF offered to fossil fuel projects last year were worth 11 times more than the previous year, when support for such projects totalled £175m.

Theresa May on walkabouts 

Only last week Prime Minister Theresa May had talked up her green credentials. She was apparently only alerted to the seriousness of climate change once it started affecting her, telling journalists that she had witnessed glaciers retreating on her walks in Switzerland. Concerned, she has called for the UK to target net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Back to the present, however, and the International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation has scolded the UK for failing to tackle aviation emissions, and have also been warned to make clear the policies in place to reduce these emissions.

All of this doesn’t square well with promises of a ‘green brexit’ and positioning your government as a leader on climate change issues.