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Statement: UK ends public support for overseas fossil fuel projects - ODI response

Written by Sara Pantuliano

Commenting on the UK government’s announcement at Saturday’s Climate Ambition Summit that it will end public support for overseas fossil fuel projects, Sara Pantuliano, Chief Executive of ODI, said:

“ODI welcomes the UK’s new commitment to ending support for overseas fossil fuel projects. In 2018/19 alone, the UK government channelled US $2.6 billion to fossil fuels via its export credit agency. We have repeatedly highlighted the scale of the UK’s fossil fuel subsidies, and we are delighted that the government has listened to our calls for reform.

Building a stronger and greener economy from Covid-19 requires a whole-of-government approach and it is only right that domestic climate commitments are matched by international investments. Ending support for fossil fuels abroad is a serious and significant step towards combating climate change and a positive signal of the UK’s ambitions for next year’s UN Climate Summit in Glasgow.

But further work is required to ensure that the UK’s public finances are consistent with a 1.5°C trajectory. Last month, research published by ODI and partners ranked the UK last of eleven G20 OECD countries in terms of fossil fuels subsidies. This is because the UK continues to provide significant taxpayer support to domestic coal, oil and gas, and lacks transparency about these fossil fuel subsidies.

We will continue to track progress and engage with the government as the UK moves from raising global ambition to realising climate action.”

ENDS.

To arrange an interview with Sara or another ODI expert please contact Charlotte Howes at [email protected]  or call +44 (0)7808 791265.