Thursday 14 October 2021 9:30 am

Letters: FCDO, get a grip on green aid

Graham Gordon is Head of Public Policy at CAFOD

[Re: ICAI aid report release, yesterday]

Yesterday’s report by ICAI – the government’s independent aid watchdog – on UK aid’s alignment with the Paris Agreement of “making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development” shows that the FCDO has a long way to go to ensure that aid tackles climate change.

Despite the FCDO owning the CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution, the report shows that the government relies on CDC marking its own homework to report back to them on how they’re tackling climate change. This is despite investments by CDC in fossil fuel-based development overseas, which the government claims to not be aware of.

The report also highlights how financial intermediaries that are funded by UK aid through CDC, PIDG and other multilateral channels, are largely left to their own devices and are known to have significant investments in fossil fuels.

With only 18 days until COP26 in Glasgow, the UK government is pulling out all the stops to persuade other countries to commit, publicly, to stop investing in fossil fuels. That diplomatic effort of course needs to continue, but we have to get our own house in order if we are to have any credibility.

The FCDO needs to get a grip on the CDC Group, exercise the control the Paris Agreement calls for and turn its back on shady investments once and for all.

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