Britain is contributing double its fair share to a global fund to help poor countries to deal with climate change, according to Oxfam.
The government pledged yesterday to pay up to £720 million to the Green Climate Fund — more per capita than any other major country.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change said that Britain was “committing to fund 12 per cent” of the organisation, which has raised $9.3 billion (£5.9 billion) from 15 countries towards its initial target of $10 billion.
Oxfam calculated that Britain’s fair share, taking into account its wealth and historical contribution to climate change, was 6 per cent. A spokeswoman said: “This pledge is certainly more than what we calculate would be the fair share.”
The US has pledged $3 billion — about half as much as Britain per capita. Germany pledged €750 million: about £7 per person compared with Britain’s contribution of about £11 per person.
Graham Stringer, a Labour member of the Commons energy and climate change committee, said it would be a better use of money to spend it on foreign aid projects “rather than funding a new “international bureaucracy”.
He added: “I cannot see any justification for paying twice what even Oxfam thinks we should pay.”
Ed Davey, the energy and climate change secretary, said that Britain had a moral duty to help the world’s poor to cope with rising temperatures.
He dismissed as “little Englanders” those politicians who argued that Britain should be spending the money protecting its own citizens from the growing risk of flooding.