Britain has given £274 million in foreign aid to a controversial climate change organisation without knowing where the money goes.
The donation to the Strategic Climate Fund was made so that the government would get closer to meeting its promise to spend 0.7 per cent of national income on overseas aid. The fund was disclosed last year to be the fifth-largest recipient among international bodies getting money from the aid budget and Britain has been its biggest donor — pledging $3 billion of its $8 billion budget.
Critics have noted that it is difficult to tell exactly who receives its money. The United States has threatened to stop giving it any cash. The Times asked the Department for International Development (DfID) under freedom of information laws: “Which organisations and individuals have received money from this fund and how much did each receive?” The department replied: “DfID does not hold the information relevant to your request. Information on the organisations involved in implementing the Strategic Climate Fund (SCF) programmes, and the levels of programme finance, is available on the Climate Investment Funds website.” […]
Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, expressed astonishment at DfID’s admission that it had no knowledge of the recipients of the climate fund. “It’s hard to believe they can get away with this kind of answer,” he said. “Development funding in itself is highly contentious but this takes it to a different level.”