British International Investment
12 December 2020

Announcing our new Fossil Fuel Policy and Guidance on Natural Gas Power Plants

At today’s Climate Ambition Summit (12 December 2020) the Prime Minister announced that the UK Government will no longer provide any new direct financial or promotional support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas, other than in exceptional circumstances. Today we are pleased to announce our own new Fossil Fuel Policy and Guidance on Natural Gas Power Plants that demonstrate how CDC complies with this policy.

Climate change is a unique global challenge in terms of scale, urgency, magnitude and complexity of action. From increased flooding and droughts to poor air quality, the effects are complex, severe and are happening now. Without decisive action, it will be particularly devastating for those living in Africa and South Asia.

In July 2020, we published our new Climate Change Strategy setting out an ambitious plan to achieve net zero emissions across our portfolio by 2050. Our new Fossil Fuel Policy excludes new investment in the vast majority of fossil fuel subsectors, with just a few exceptions remaining. For example, we will only pursue investments in gas-fired power stations if they fulfil the requirements our new Guidance on Natural Gas Power Plants. The guidance provides a methodology for considering natural gas power plant investments in the context of the Paris Agreement. It requires an investment to be transitionary to net zero by demonstrating alignment with a country’s pathway to net zero emissions by 2050.

In Africa and South Asia, country pathways to net zero by 2050 will be different to those in developed economies. While developed economies are focusing on reducing emissions immediately, in many African and South Asian countries, we will see a later peak in emissions as governments tackle important human development needs such as increasing energy access, reducing poverty and improving living standards to meet the SDGs.

Our Climate Change Strategy, Investing for clean and inclusive growth, supported by today’s new policy and guidance, will ensure that our activities and portfolio are aligned with the Paris Agreement and will play a meaningful role in tackling climate change.

Our strategy is made up of three building blocks which align our activities and investments with the goals of the Paris Agreement:

  1. Net zero by 2050: investing for a net zero world, because investment decisions today affect emissions tomorrow.
  2. Just transition: supporting a ‘just transition’ to a net zero economy by keeping the creation of decent jobs and skills development at the forefront of the change.
  3. Adaptation and resilience: strengthening adaptation and resilience of sectors, communities, businesses and people to the effects of climate change.


Key documents:

Strategy: Investing for clean and inclusive growth, CDC’s Climate Change Strategy

Policy: Fossil Fuel Policy

Guidance: Natural Gas Power Plants: Assessing alignment with the Paris Agreement

Media contact:
Lynsay Taffe – +44 (0) 7780 336 676

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