UK Government Spent 2X More On Fossil Fuels Than Renewable Energy Overseas

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The UK Government spent more than double in supporting fossil fuels in developing countries than it did supporting renewable energy in developing countries, according to a new report conducted by the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development and the Overseas Development Institute.

Of the £6.13 billion ($9.73 billion) spent by the UK Government on energy in developing countries, 46% of it went to supporting fossil fuels, whereas only 22% was directed towards supporting renewable energy development. These are the key findings from new research published by Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).

CAFOD and ODI first worked together on analyzing the numbers on UK financing for energy in developing countries last year, in which they looked at support provided between 2009 and 2013. This year, the two have updated their research to look at UK support for energy in developing countries between 2010 and 2014, and found that the UK disbursed a total of £6.13 billion ($9.73 billion), an increase of £0.95 million ($1.5 billion) from the previously analyzed period. Specifically, 46% of the total energy support went to fossil fuels, while only 22% went to renewable energy.

More distressingly is the fact that 99.4% of the UK Export Finance budget went to fossil fuels, though thankfully 32% of the UK’s Official Development Assistance energy budget went to renewable energy, more than the 22% that went to fossil fuels.

“To tackle climate change we have to leave fossil fuels in the ground and switch rapidly to renewable sources of energy,” said Dr Sarah Wykes, lead analyst on climate change and energy at CAFOD. “It doesn’t make sense for there to still be any public money going into fossil fuels overseas.

“Supporting fossil fuels overseas puts UK leadership at risk at a time when it is needed now more than ever on the Paris Agreement. We’d like some clarity from the government on how it plans to make its energy spending consistent with its promises to tackle climate change and help the world’s poorest people access modern energy services.”

Unfortunately, it is not a new problem that the world’s governments are blatantly lying through their teeth when it comes to promising to focus on renewable energy development, while at the same time they pump millions into the fossil fuel industry around the world. Whether it’s new financing as reported above, or the $5 trillion in fossil fuel subsidies, governments have a serious addiction to fossil fuels — an addiction that, like any, must stop, before it hurts and kills.

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Joshua S Hill

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (, and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at for more.

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