UK support for foreign oil and gas a “staggering hypocrisy”
The UK’s climate targets have been branded “laughable” after the government announced it was considering finance for the expansion of an oil refinery in Bahrain.
UK Export Finance said support for the Bapco Modernization Program would see output increase to as much as 380,000 barrels a day, and admitted this could have adverse environmental and social impacts.
Research by the Overseas Development Institute found that 99.4% of all support provided by Britain’s export credit agency goes to fossil fuel projects. Further analysis by Carbon Brief shows that the £4.8bn spent on projects from 2010-16 was almost equal to the UK’s total spend on its International Climate Fund from 2011-17, which came to £4.9bn.
Global Witness described the decision as “staggering”, flying in the face of rhetoric about the UK becoming a climate change leader. The NGO’s climate change campaigner, Adam McGibbon, added: “Until the government commits to phase out its fossil fuel lending, its claims of climate leadership are laughable – this hypocrisy has to stop."