Protesters hold banners calling for greater transparency in the oil industry at a march in Dakar, Senegal. Photograph: Seyllou/AFP/Getty
UK taxpayer funds totalling $750m (£577m) have been invested in new fossil fuel projects in developing African countries despite the government’s public commitment to tackling the climate crisis, according to an international watchdog.
Global Witness found that a London-based investment group raised $1bn from the UK government over 16 years and spent three-quarters of this supporting oil and gas projects in some of Africa’s poorest countries.
The Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), which relies on the UK taxpayer for two-thirds of its funding, committed $750m to fossil fuel projects between 2002 and 2018, including recent investments in heavy fuel oil power plants in Senegal and Mali.
Since then, the group’s investments have included $24m for a gas plant in Togo and $31m for a gas plant expansion project in Ivory Coast.
Adam McGibbon, a campaigner at Global Witness, said “not a penny of public money” should be used on fossil fuel infrastructure.
“The British public will quite rightly be appalled to know that their tax money is being used to finance some of the world’s dirtiest fossil fuels,