Climate change: UK to end overseas support for fossil fuel sector

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The Prime Minister has announced that the UK will end direct government support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas, as he opens the Climate Ambition Summit.

The world-leading policy will see the UK end export finance, aid funding and trade promotion for new crude oil, natural gas or thermal coal projects, with very limited exceptions.

This is a significant change –in the last four years, the Government supported £21 billion of UK oil and gas exports through trade promotion and export finance. The policy will be implemented after a short period of consultation and is intended to come into force as soon as possible, and before COP26 next November.

Today’s announcement will expedite the shift to supporting green technology and renewable energy, creating jobs across the UK and driving international growth in the industry.  

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The Government will work with the UK’s oil and gas sector to support the move to low carbon energy sources through the North Sea Transition Deal, ensuring areas like Teesside and Aberdeen can become global hubs for wind energy, carbon capture and other clean technologies of the future.  

It comes as the UK prepares to co-host a virtual Climate Ambition Summit with the UN and France and in partnership with Italy and Chile this afternoon, marking five years since the landmark Paris Climate Agreement.

At least 75 world leaders – from Justin Trudeau to Narendra Modi and Pope Francis participated in the event, alongside the UN Secretary General, businesses such as Apple and Legal & General, city mayors and civil society groups.

The Summit is open to leaders who are ready to showcase ambitious new commitments, including Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, strategies to reach Net Zero, climate finance pledges and innovative plans to adapt and build resilience to climate change.

It will put the world on a path to make substantial reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions ahead of COP26 in Glasgow.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said   “Climate change is one of the great global challenges of our age, and it is already costing lives and livelihoods the world over. Our actions as leaders must be driven not by timidity or caution, but by ambition on a truly grand scale. By taking ambitious and decisive action today, we will create the jobs of the future, drive the recovery from coronavirus and protect our beautiful planet for generations to come.”

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