The United Kingdom wasted billions of dollars on dubious global warming programs in Third World countries, according to an investigation.
The Telegraph’s investigation found the government spent $2.4 billion on green energy schemes in some of the world’s poorest countries with no clear benefit.
The plan was supposed to bring electricity from green sources to 4.9 million people by 2023, but has only brought power to 7,400 people so far. Only 0.007 percent of intended carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reductions were met with government funding, according to the Telegraph.
“Ministers have called in a number of climate programmes for close scrutiny to ensure they are on track and delivering,” an anonymous source within the U.K.’s Department for International Development told The Telegraph. “The money would be better spent on our humanitarian response with proven results than some of the incredibly complex climate programmes.”
One project cost taxpayers roughly $318 million, but only generated enough electricity to power a 100 homes. Other portions of that funding went to build a wind farm in Ethiopia and solar power plants in Kenya and Mali. The British government plans to pour almost $8.3 billion into the Climate Investment Fund, despite the history of wasting taxpayer dollars on ineffective green energy schemes.
The U.K.’s first scandal was when a heavily-subsidized anaerobic digester power plant discharged toxic waste into an eight-mile stretch of river, killing thousands of fish earlier in January. The individual plant has been responsible for 12 other “serious pollution incidents” since 2015, according to locals who spoke to The Daily Mail.
A second major scandal uncovered in January involved more than $206 million in government waste on a failed green subsidy scheme to develop Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from power plants, then store it underground, according to a report by the British National Audit Office (NAO).
Ultimately, the British Ministry of the Treasury canceled the program due to its rising costs. NAO found the government started the CCS competition without an agreement on the cost. This ultimately led to the Treasury withdrawing $1.21 billion in pledged financial support for the project, triggering its cancellation.
One day later, a third scandal broke. A botched green energy subsidy scheme, called the Renewable Heat Incentive, brought down Northern Ireland’s governing coalition. The program cost U.K. taxpayers more than $1.4 billion, despite initially projected to cost $40 million.
A whistleblower claimed program recipients manipulated it to receive about $200 dollars in subsidies for every $120 they spent on green fuel, according to The Times. A report by Northern Ireland’s auditor-general acknowledged that some individuals may have reaped about $1.1 million in profits though the scheme.
Britain’s fourth major scandal this year was discovered by government investigators in February after it was uncovered that the U.K. wasted $574 million subsidizing burning wood pellets for power.
The subsidies paid companies to chop down trees in the U.S. and transport the wood to the U.K. where it would be burned to produce electricity. This ironically generated more greenhouse gases than the local coal power it replaced, according to a government report. The U.K. government blames its failure to meet EU renewable energy targets on the false assumption that burning trees was carbon dioxide (CO2)-neutral.
The wood pellets were provided by the company Zilkha Biomass, which has ties to a former senior British government official who went to jail after being convicted of corruption-related charges in 2013.
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