Fossil fuel finance: UK faith groups urge government to keep its word

3 February 2021

Unitarians have joined 16 other representatives of faith bodies to call on the UK government to immediately ban the use of public money to fund fossil fuel projects overseas.

The open letter to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Kwasi Kwarteng, states that the UK has “a moral obligation to support developing countries to ‘leapfrog’ dirty fossil fuel energy and move straight to clean energy sources. We must not allow UK finance to lock countries into years of high-carbon, polluting infrastructure, while we ourselves transition to clean energy.”

In December, after years of campaigning by organisations including Christian Aid, Tearfund and Global Justice Now, the government announced that UK Export Finance and the overseas aid budget would no longer fund fossil fuel projects. With details of the policy yet to be finalised, campaigners are now pushing for a full and immediate ban with no loopholes.

The interfaith letter asks the government to ensure the ban extends to “gas power, hydrogen projects that involve fossil fuels, and fossil fuel related infrastructure”. It also calls for the inclusion of a requirement to divest from existing fossil fuel investments.

You can read the full text of the letter here: Faith leaders’ letter to Kwasi Kwarteng MP.pdf

The consultation on the proposed policy for overseas energy support is open until 8 February. Global Justice Now has produced a tool to help individuals respond – click here to add your response.