Press release | Jan. 20, 2020

UK Government climate commitment on coal overseas is hollow

20th January 2020, London - Reacting to news that the UK Government plans to phase out foreign aid for coal mines and power plants, Adam McGibbon, Senior Climate Campaigner at Global Witness, said:

“The UK Government has not funded a coal plant overseas since 2002. This commitment to ‘no new coal’ therefore makes very little difference to the UK’s lack of climate ambition, and it leaves untouched the billions in oil and gas support that the UK will continue to spend worldwide.”

“To be a real climate leader, the UK Government needs to end its support for all fossil fuels overseas. In a year that the UK is hosting a major UN climate summit, we need to see much stronger commitments from the UK that match up to the climate challenges the world is currently facing. Climate leaders don’t spend billions overseas making climate change worse for the world’s poorest people.”

"Boris Johnson has said today that there is no point in the UK cutting its carbon emissions domestically if it is promoting carbon emissions abroad. We agree, but after his announcement today, we will still be spending billions doing this. these are not the actions of a climate leader.”



Notes to editor:

1)     During a Parliamentary inquiry last year, Climate Minister Claire Perry (now the President of the UK Government’s team for the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow), said: We have not funded any new coal-fired power-plants overseas since 2002.

2)     CAFOD research from last year shows that UK Export Finance, an agency of the Department for International Trade that supports business overseas, gave 97% of its energy support to fossil fuels:

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