The UK and Germany have been accused by Ban Ki-moon’s envoy of undermining the Paris climate deal by financing fossil fuels.
Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and UN special envoy on climate change and El Niño told a national newspaper she had to speak out after Germany promised compensation for coal power and the UK provided tax breaks for oil and gas.
The Paris climate deal was agreed in December by 195 countries in which they pledged to phase out fossil fuels in the long term to tackle climate change. The agreement was signed by 170 countries, including the UK, in April.
Ms Robinson said: “They’ve [the British government] introduced new tax breaks for oil and gas in 2015 that will cost the UK taxpayer billions between 2015 and 2020 and at the same time they’ve cut support for renewables and for energy efficiency.
“It’s regrettable. That’s not in the spirit [of Paris]. In many ways, the UK was a real leader [on climate change] and hopefully the UK will become again a real leader. But it’s not at the moment.”
The comment follows new PM Theresa May’s decision to scrap DECC.