An analysis of UK Prosperity Fund support to the oil and gas industry

Based on official Foreign Office data, this briefing reveals that the UK’s Foreign Office spent funds from the Official Development Aid budget to promote shale gas drilling in China, as well as supporting expansion of oil and gas industries in Brazil, Mexico, India, and Myanmar.

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  • UK Foreign Office disbursed over £2 million in Official Development Aid budget to oil and gas projects between 2016-2018.
  • The Prosperity Fund financed 16 fossil fuel projects, including expanding oil and gas sector capacity in Brazil, Mexico, China, Myanmar, and India. These projects represent approximately 29.2% of the Prosperity Fund’s overall energy spend.
  • Two Prosperity Fund projects explore exporting UK expertise in shale gas regulation to China, at a time when the UK’s own regulatory controls on fracking are under intense criticism. One of these two projects is also inaccurately classified in Foreign Office data as “Power generation / renewable sources”.

 

This funding undermines the UK’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and its commitment as a G20 member to phase out fossil fuel subsidies.

The Prosperity Fund must stop financing oil and gas projects and invest only in near zero emissions projects.

The UK government should consider how spending from the Prosperity Fund and broader ODA spending can support a rapid managed decline of fossil fuel extraction and consumption, and a just transition for workers and communities that depend on high-carbon industry.

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