UK government considers supporting £4bn oil refinery expansion days after bombshell climate change warning

(The Independent, 11 Oct 2018) Environmental campaigners say calls to move away from fossil fuels 'have fallen on deaf ears'.

The UK government has said it is planning to financially support the multi-million-pound expansion of an oil refinery in Bahrain, just days after scientists warned a global effort to move away from fuel fossils was vital to prevent climate catastrophe.

The state-run Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) has sought international backing for upgrades to increase the output capacity of its processing plant in Sitra by more than a third to 360,000 barrels a day. The project is expected to cost well in excess of £3.8bn.

UK Export Finance (UKEF) – the government credit agency which underwrites loans and insurance for risky export deals as part of efforts to boost international trade – said it was considering financing the refinery expansion.

Agency advisers who conduct due diligence on deals have said the project could have “significant adverse” environmental or social impacts.

Climate campaigners said the UK’s proposed backing for the refinery suggested the latest alert about global warming “have fallen on deaf ears”.

It comes in the wake of a landmark report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which warned humanity needed to make “unprecedented changes” to the way it eats, travels, and produces energy to avert environmental disaster.

Scientists said greenhouse gas emissions must be almost halved by 2030 to keep the increase in the Earth’s temperature below 1.5C and prevent the worst effects of global warming.

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The Independent, 11 Oct 2018: UK government considers supporting £4bn oil refinery expansion days after bombshell climate change warning