Ban Ki-moon tells Britain: stop investing in fossil fuels overseas

(The Guardian, 24 Feb 2019) Former UN secretary-general says country must live up to Theresa May’s commitment.

Ban Ki-moon has urged Britain to stop funding fossil fuel projects overseas, in what he said would mark a test of Theresa May’s commitment to act on climate change.

The former UN secretary general said he was deeply concerned that the UK’s export credit agency had provided billions of pounds in recent years to support businesses involved in oil and gas schemes around the world.

“These figures and policies are hard to reconcile with the UK’s commitments under the Paris agreement,” said Ban, referring to the international climate deal he forged in 2015 as UN chief.

“The time has come for the UK to change course, in the interests of the whole world,” he wrote in a comment piece for the Guardian.

He said the funding was at odds with warning given by Mark Carney, the Bank of England governor, who has said climate change will lead to financial crises.

Ban rarely comments on specific climate change policies of individual countries, and made clear he believed that the UK could continue to be a leader on the issue.