£1bn investment into fracking meant for green energy
Monday 4th November 2019 | Jake
UK Export Finance (UKEF), the government’s export credit agency, has approved £1bn in loans in 2017 to UK companies looking to export their knowledge in “infrastructure, green energy and healthcare” to the Argentinian economy, according to the Guardian. Instead of focusing on green projects, however, the money is being used to support fracking in the homeland of indigenous people in Argentina.
Money from the loans will go towards “Argentina’s huge shale resources”, which, according to a leaked government memo, will “offer the greatest potential” for the UK. The money will help support oil companies, such as BP and Shell, continue their fracking operations in the country’s heartlands.
Friends of the Earth uncovered the memo, which revealed UKEF would be allocating funds for fracking rather than the aforementioned “green energy”. Records have also revealed there have been numerous meetings between UK officials and oil companies operating in the Vaca Muerta shale fields. Fracking in the region is having a disastrous impact on indigenous people, with freshwater lakes polluted and protests from the local community violently stamped out.
MPs on the environmental audit committee strongly oppose UKEF’s support for Argentina’s shale industry, arguing it undermines Britain’s position as a leader in the climate crisis. A campaigner for Friends of the Earth, Tony Bosworth, was stinging in his criticism of UKEF: “it’s outrageous that the UK government is continuing to back huge fossil fuel developments abroad.”