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UK agency has backed billions’ worth of aviation deals since Paris agreement


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A UK government agency has financially supported the high-carbon aviation industry with billions of pounds since the Paris climate agreement was adopted, it can be revealed.

The effective subsidy for new airports, aircraft and maintenance comes despite the agency believing the oil-dependent sector is unlikely to begin cutting emissions “materially” before the next decade.

UK Export Finance (UKEF), which offers a range of loans, insurance and guarantees to help British companies secure business abroad, ended support for fossil fuel projects two years ago. This key pledge, made by the UK, which hosted the Cop26 climate talks, won praise from green groups.

But more than half of the support it has provided since the landmark Paris climate accord was agreed at the end of 2015 has gone to aviation, with Rolls-Royce, Airbus, Boeing and British Airways (BA) taking the lion’s share, according to analysis by DeSmog and the Guardian.

Just one of the 62 deals, listed in annual reports, appears to have come with any climate-related conditions attached.

The scale of the agency’s exposure to…

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