BRITAIN has given thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ cash to help fracking in China, it has been revealed – to the anger of cross-party MPs. Foreign Office minister Mark Field has admitted since 2016 the department spent £87,000 on projects to improve the “environmental regulation of shale gas development in China”.
PUBLISHED: 07:45, Sun, May 26, 2019 | UPDATED: 07:56, Sun, May 26, 2019
The Tories are spending UK aid to support fracking in China
The move has been condemned by politicians, who expressed astonishment that Britain was boosting the economic superpower’s energy sector.
Fracking, which involves breaking open rock layers to release underground gas, has transformed the global energy market but is a source of fierce controversy in the UK.
James Roberts at TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “When it comes to our aid cash, China is big enough to look after itself.
“And at a time when we are crippling our own energy market with rules and regulations, it beggars belief we’re giving the Chinese a leg-up in the shale sector with our foreign aid.”
A senior Conservative source also voiced concern: “The aid budget tops £14billion a year and ministers have lost all financial discipline and control as to where taxpayers’ cash is going.
“To be giving money to China at a time when they threaten our national security is unacceptable.”
Alex Norris, shadow minister for international development, accused the Government of hypocrisy.
He said: “The Tories are hypocritically spending UK aid to support fracking in China, while also announcing the climate crisis will be a top priority of their international development agenda.