UK government under fire for investing overseas aid in fossil fuel firms
The UK government is under attack for investing taxpayers’ money in fossil fuel companies, a hospital in Kenya accused of imprisoning patients who couldn’t pay for treatment, and a business in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that exposed workers to dangerous chemicals and dumped untreated industrial waste.
MPs questioned the investments at a two-hour session in parliament on Tuesday, and excoriated Andrew Mitchell, minister for development, for making overseas aid available to a company owned by Africa’s richest man that is suspected of causing serious environmental damage.
The investments made by British International Investment (BII) – which is owned by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office – are worth tens of millions of pounds.
BII was set up to provide funds to “solve the biggest global development challenges”, such as the effects of the climate crisis and unemployment, and to reduce poverty in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, according to its website.