BORIS Johnson’s Clean Green Initiative for developing countries has been slammed as “greenwashing” by opposition after his government made cuts to international aid.

The Prime Minister announced on Monday that the UK will double its aid-funded green investments to more than £3bn over five years, with new guarantees to support clean infrastructure projects.

Johnson then chaired an Action and Solidarity roundtable at COP26 in Glasgow, which brought together countries most vulnerable to climate change and those responsible for the majority of emissions.

But the Scottish Greens said that the UK failing to live up to its commitments to the Global South was “appalling” and said the funding is an attempt to “greenwash”.

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In July this year the UK Government cut aid spending by around 0.5% (£4.4 billion), claiming the Covid pandemic meant they could not afford to pay.

Meanwhile, the Global South has been the hardest hit with the effects of climate change, from flooding to wildfires, despite being the least responsible for global warming.

Johnson said: “I want to see the UK’s Green industrial revolution go global. The pace of change on clean technology and infrastructure is incredible, but no country should be left behind in the race to save our planet.

“The climate has often been a silent victim of economic growth and progress – but the opposite should now be true.

The National:

Johnson was accused of "greenwashing" by the opposition

“Through the Clean Green Initiative, we can help to build back better and greener from the pandemic and put the world on the path to a more sustainable future.”

The UK also announced a package of guarantees to multilateral development banks that will provide a major boost to investments in climate-related projects in India and across Africa.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said: “Developing countries need the right form of investment to help drive clean growth, whilst dealing with the impacts of climate change.

“The opportunities are clear and this new initiative will enable us to seize them, working closely with our allies to deliver honest and responsible investment and cleaner and more reliable infrastructure in the developing world.”

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The Clean Green Initiative is a key part of the UK’s contribution to the G7 Build Back Better World initiative announced at the Carbis Bay Summit in June.

It is intended to be a long-term approach to help developing countries bridge the infrastructure gap, while supporting climate change and sustainable development goals.

Maggie Chapman MSP, Scottish Greens international development spokesperson, said:“It’s quite remarkable that, having slashed its international aid spending, Boris Johnson’s government now wants credit for how that budget is spent.

“At a time when the impacts of the climate crisis are being felt most profoundly in the global south the UK’s failure to live up to its aid commitments is appalling and no amount of greenwashing from the Tories can cover that up.”

We previously told how charity leaders said that the UK’s international aid cuts marked the “death knell” for it’s “global Britain agenda”.

Johnson faced fierce opposition from his own MPs over the move in July last year, with the cut passing by a majority of only 35 votes.