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China and India to receive £1.5billion climate aid windfall despite scuppering COP26 coal pledges

China and India are set to receive a £1.5 billion climate aid windfall despite scuppering a COP26 deal on reducing reliance on coal power.

Richer countries agreed to double funding for developing nations to prepare for global warming at the Glasgow conference earlier this month.

Despite having two of the fastest growing economies in the world, the UN designates China and India as ‘developing states’.

Analysis shows that the two countries received a total of about £700 million from developed countries in 2019, the latest figures available, as well as millions more from investment foundations and private donors.

China and India are set to receive a £1.5 billion climate aid windfall despite scuppering a COP26 deal on reducing reliance on coal power

But the pledge made in Glasgow could see their ‘adaptation’ funding allowances rocket as high as £1.5 billion – with the British taxpayer footing as much as £38 million of the bill.

China and India will enjoy the bonanza despite helping to water down a key COP26 pledge. Instead of promising to ‘phase out’ the use of coal, the conference agreed only to ‘phase down’ its use.

The dilution of the pledge left COP26 President Alok Sharma frustrated and close to tears.

Critics said the system required reform. John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘The net zero target must not see working taxpayers landed with the bill. With the highest tax levels in 70 years, family finances are already strained and cannot be expected to pay these green grants to wealthy nations.

‘Ministers should address the effectiveness of eco-aid like this and protect Brits from paying out for more squandered spending.’

China emits more greenhouse gases than the entire developed world combined. According to air quality indexes, India is the most polluted country on the globe.

Yet analysis of latest adaptation climate funding contributions reveal that they accepted a total of about £2.3 billion from climate funds in 2019.

Of that, China pocketed £749 million, including grants and loans from nation states and private donors including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation.

China's Xi Jinping (left)) refused to attend Cop 26, while India's Narendra Modi gave a speech days before his representatives helped to water down moves to stop coal use

Developed countries contributed £278 million, of which almost £8 million was from Britain, and was used to improve crop production and develop a new power sector for Fujian, a province in the south-east of China. According to statistics published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, India was handed £1.6 billion in funding from across the world, including foundations, private donors, states and investment groups in 2019.

Around £409 million of that came from member states, including £12.6 million from the UK. It was spent on the ‘promotion of women in energy’ in India, the state’s solar power network and early warning weather systems.

Under the new funding arrangements, China could next year receive up to £14 million from the UK and India £24 million.

Critics are also concerned about corruption. A recent report by the Chr. Michelsen Institute in Norway found the ten countries that receive the most climate finance, including China and India, were at a ‘higher risk for corrupt practices’.