Hundreds Of Millions Of British Aid ‘Wasted’ On Overseas Climate Projects

  • Date: 13/03/17
  • Robert Mendrick, The Sunday Telegraph

Serious questions are raised today over hundreds of millions of pounds of British taxpayers’ money being ‘wasted’ on climate change projects such as an Ethiopian wind farm and Kenyan solar power plant.

A Telegraph investigation shows little benefit so far from a £2 billion foreign aid programme to tackle climate change that was established eight years ago.

One scheme, costing £260m of UK taxpayers’ money, has produced only enough renewable electricity to power the equivalent of just 100 British households – about the size of a typical street.

Projects including solar parks in Kenya and Mali, a rubbish-burning power plant in the Maldives and wind farmer project in Ethiopia are all earmarked for funding from the scheme.

The Telegraph investigation raises major concerns over the use of international aid money to fund complex renewable energy schemes in some of the world’s poorest countries.

It will also reignite the row over the Government’s commitment, championed by David Cameron, to ring fence the £12 billion annual foreign aid budget, which is fixed at 0.7 per cent of national income.

Critics have accused the Government of “scandalously wasting” taxpayers’ money on the schemes.

While officials insist publicly the climate change schemes are working and should only be judged in 2023 at its end point, the department for International Development (Dfid) has expressed concern over delays to projects and the management of them.

One senior source said ministers inside Dfid are questioning whether the money would have been better spent on humanitarian causes instead.

The complex set of schemes – known as the Climate Investment Funds (CIFs) – are run by the World Bank, with almost one-third of the £6.75 billion total funding provided by the UK government. No other country has put in so much cash.

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