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Written Question
Overseas Aid and UK Export Finance: Carbon Emissions
25 May 2021

Questioner: Baroness Blackstone (Labour Independent - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many countries that have received UK Export Finance or Overseas Development Assistance since 2016 have credible long-term decarbonisation strategies, including nationally determined contributions.

Answered by Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park

The Government is committed to using Official Development Assistance and export finance to support countries on their pathway to decarbonisation. Since 2011/12, UK International Climate Finance has provided 33 million people with improved access to clean energy, avoided 31 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and installed 2,000 MW in clean energy capacity. Examples of UK Export Finance for decarbonisation include £27 million of support for a solar-powered clean water project in Ghana and over £230 million of support for off-shore wind farms in Taiwan.

The Government's new policy on support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas is a further demonstration of the UK's commitment to alignment with the Paris Agreement. 76 countries that have received UK ODA or export finance since 2016 have submitted new or updated NDCs to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as at 14 May 2021. As COP26 President, the UK acknowledges the considerable value of collective efforts to accelerate progress on clean energy. That is why the UK is actively seeking commitments from other countries to adopt more ambitious NDCs and Long-Term Strategies, including adopting an approach to fossil fuel investment as ambitious as the UK's.


Written Question
Fossil Fuels: Overseas Investment
29 Apr 2021

Questioner: Baroness Blackstone (Labour Independent - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 25 February (HL13294), what assessment they have made of the Science Based Targets initiative; and whether any fossil fuel projects permitted under the "very limited exceptions” will be limited to investments and loan guarantees to organisations committed to the targets of that initiative.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

The Science Based Targets initiative aims to obtain commitments from corporates to reduce their impact on climate change, based on their proportionate contribution to climate targets. As the exemptions within the Government's new policy on support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas are not restricted to corporations, the Science Based Targets initiative was not considered during the formulation of the exemptions within the new policy.

The Government published detailed guidance accompanying the change to its policy on support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas on 31 March which is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-the-government-will-implement-its-policy-on-support-for-the-fossil-fuel-energy-sector-overseas. We will consider any requests for project financing against the published guidance. The policies of CDC, the UK's development finance institution, are well aligned to the delivery of the Government's new policy.


Written Question
Fossil Fuels: Overseas Investment
28 Apr 2021

Questioner: Baroness Blackstone (Labour Independent - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 25 February (HL13294), how the "very limited exceptions" by which some fossil fuel projects will be permitted are defined.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

Guidance on how the government will implement its policy on support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas was published in March and is available on the gov.uk website (see link below). The guidance covers: what is exempt from the policy, guidance on how the policy will apply to specific areas and areas not covered by the policy. Publication of the guidance follows a consultation process that ran from 12 December 2020 to 8 February 2021.

How the government will implement its policy on support for the fossil fuel energy sector


Written Question
Fossil Fuels: Overseas Investment
27 Apr 2021

Questioner: Baroness Blackstone (Labour Independent - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park on 25 February (HL13295), whether they are currently considering any fossil fuel financing projects through (1) UK Export Finance, or (2) Overseas Development Assistance, within the scope of the "very limited exceptions".

Answered by Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park

The government published detailed guidance accompanying the implementation of the new policy on support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas on 31 March. This is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-the-government-will-implement-its-policy-on-support-for-the-fossil-fuel-energy-sector-overseas. We will consider any requests for project financing against the published guidance.

It is not possible to publish all planned, potential transactions, investments, export credit guarantees, loans, and loan guarantees, for reasons of commercial sensitivity. Details of confirmed financial support will be available in FCDO's annual Statistics on International Development report on Official Development Assistance spend, and in UK Export Finance's annual report.


Written Question
Overseas Aid: Fossil Fuels
22 Mar 2021

Questioner: Baroness Blackstone (Labour Independent - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the total value of overseas aid invested in fossil fuels via (1) the CDC Group, and (2) the Private Infrastructure Development Group, including investments made through financial intermediaries, for the (a) 2015/16, (b) 2016/17, (c) 2017/18, (d) 2018/19, and (e) 2019/20, tax years.

Answered by Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park

CDC has published its complete portfolio of energy investments as held at 31 December 2019 on its website, which includes the start date of each investment and the total amount committed.

The value of Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) commitments to energy projects (disaggregated by renewables and non-renewables) is published in the 2019 PIDG Annual Review available on the PIDG website. Project level data on all PIDG investment commitments are also available online via its Results Monitoring Database and its annual reports.

Due to the disproportionate cost of compiling the requested data, it is not possible to provide an estimate of the total value of support provided to overseas fossil fuels projects or companies via the CDC Group and PIDG.


Written Question
Overseas Investment: Fossil Fuels
10 Mar 2021

Questioner: Baroness Blackstone (Labour Independent - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the total value of (1) investments, (2) export credit guarantees, (3) loans, and (4) loan guarantees, granted (a) under Official Development Assistance, and (b) by UK Export Finance, to overseas fossil fuels projects or companies which are currently active.

Answered by Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park

Data on the UK's Official Development Assistance (ODA) support to CDC and Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) provide the current best estimate of the total value of investments, loans, and loan guarantees, to overseas fossil fuels projects or companies.

CDC has published its complete portfolio of energy investments as held at 31 December 2019 on its website, which includes the start date of each investment and the total amount committed. The value of PIDG commitments to energy projects (disaggregated by renewables and non-renewables) is published in the 2019 PIDG Annual Review available on the PIDG website.Project level data on all PIDG investment commitments are also available online via its Results Monitoring Database and its annual reports.

Due to the disproportionate cost of compiling the requested data, it is not possible to provide an estimate of the total value of support provided to overseas fossil fuels projects or companies by UK Export Finance investments.


Written Question
Fossil Fuels: Overseas Investment
25 Feb 2021

Questioner: Baroness Blackstone (Labour Independent - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the total value of planned (1) investments, (2) export credit guarantees, (3) loans, and (4) loan guarantees, in overseas fossil fuel projects by way of (a) Overseas Development Assistance, and (2) UK Export Finance, which have been committed but have not yet been finalised.

Answered by Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park

The Prime Minister announced at the Climate Ambition Summit on 12 December that the Government will no longer provide any new direct financial or promotional support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas, with very limited exemptions.

The Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs has set out seven core priorities for the UK's official development assistance (ODA) budget in the overarching pursuit of poverty reduction, with climate and biodiversity forming one of these core priorities. No decisions have yet been made by FCDO Ministers on individual country or sectoral budget allocations for 2021/22. In addition, it is not possible to publish all planned, potential transactions, investments, export credit guarantees, loans, and loan guarantees, for reasons of commercial sensitivity.


Written Question
Fossil Fuels: Overseas Investment
25 Feb 2021

Questioner: Baroness Blackstone (Labour Independent - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to extend any policy on banning overseas fossil fuel investment to investments made by the CDC Group, including those by third party financial institutions.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

The Prime Minister announced at the Climate Ambition Summit on 12 December 2020 that the Government will no longer provide any new direct financial or promotional support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas, with very limited exemptions. The policies of CDC are well aligned to the delivery of the Government's policy to end fossil fuel investment overseas.


Written Question
Issa Amro
16 Feb 2021

Questioner: Baroness Blackstone (Labour Independent - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the statement by Amnesty International on 5 January that Issa Amro is "facing politically motivated charges for his peaceful activism against Israel’s military occupation and illegal settlements"; and what representations they have made to the government of Israel about the conviction of Issa Amro.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

We are aware of the 5 January statement by Amnesty International about Issa Amro's case. Officials from our Consulate-General in Jerusalem attended Mr Amro's court hearing on 6 January. We continue to urge the Israeli Government to fully respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of human rights defenders and organisations. We have also raised concerns with the Palestinian Authority about the narrowing of space for civil society to operate in the West Bank.