British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to end direct government support for overseas fossil fuel projects at a U.N. summit on Saturday, aiming to spur similar moves by other countries to help tackle climate change, his office said.
Britain, which co-hosted the virtual summit ahead of climate negotiations in Glasgow next year, has faced accusations of hypocrisy from campaigners for continuing to finance climate-warming oil and natural gas projects abroad. “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,” Johnson said in a statement.
More than 70 world leaders from countries including China, India, Canada and Japan are also due to unveil more ambitious climate commitments Britain would be the first major economy to commit to ending public finance for overseas fossil fuel projects.
“This policy shift sets a new gold standard for what serious climate action looks like,” said Louise Burrows, policy adviser with consultancy E3G. “Britain now has the mandate to mobilise other countries to follow suit.”