UK spends double on overseas fossil fuels than renewables
Published: 11 Aug 2017

Catholic aid agency Cafod have released figures from research that suggest the UK spent double the amount on overseas fossil fuel projects than renewable projects.

46% of the £6.1 billion energy spend went to developing countries between 2010 and 2014, for oil, gas and coal-fired schemes, whilst a mere 22% went to renewables.

Fossil fuel support has increased by almost £1 billion this decade, whilst calls to divest from such fuels increase from political, ethical and economical sources.

Cafod presented the findings of the study, asking the Government to clarify how it would "bring public support for overseas projects into line with climate commitments under the Paris Agreement".

Cedrec's take

It isn't a huge surprise that the fossil fuel industry continues to get support from the Government. The transition away from fossil fuels will never be an overnight occurrence. Instead, what is disappointing about these figures is the gulf between investment into fossil fuel as opposed to renewables.

Couple this with the figure of a near £1 billion increase in spending on fossil fuels in the last decade, the call to explain the commitment to the Paris Agreement is more than acceptable.

Pressure is only increasing, from more circles. At the time of this story, an Australian case is bringing environment issues to the foreground of business and finance, with two shareholders of the Commonwealth Bank pursuing that Bank for failing to properly address climate change risk in the annual reports, a move that is supported by investors and financial regulators alike.

The attitude to renewables is slowly changing. Let's hope the gap between investment changes more quickly.