Outrage as Tory Party receive millions from fossil fuel industry since 2019 election

‘For any of the parties to have accepted any money from fossil fuel interests is unacceptable. For the governing party to have taken 8.4m is obscene’

Rishi Sunak in Aberdeen

New analysis has found that since the 2019 election, the Conservative Party received £8.4m from fossil fuel interests, polluters and climate deniers, causing outrage among MPs and campaigners. 

DeSmog, an investigative and fact-checking website focused on global warming misinformation campaigns, analysed donations to each party in Westminster since 12 December 2019 and revealed the eye-watering amount received by the Tories from the fossil fuel lobby.

Broken down it is made up of £2.35m from fossil fuel interests, £5.7m from highly polluting industries and £404,000 from climate science deniers. 

Last year the government announced plans to approve up to 100 new oil and gas licences in this Parliamentary year as Rishi Sunak said he hoped to “max out” oil and gas reserves in the North Sea. 

Now DeSmog reporter Sam Bright has found that the Tories and its MPs received 160 times more from polluting donors than Labour, which received £41,600 according to DeSmog. It’s also 80 times more polluting cash than the Lib Dems, who took £132,600, while Reform UK, with a reputation for climate denial claims, has taken over £2m from polluting donors since 2019, 90% of its funds. 

Furthermore a recent investigation by the Ferret found that nearly 130 people from the oil and gas sector have taken up senior government roles in the Tory Party since 2011.

The campaign group Fossil Free Parliament commented on the DeSmog analysis: “With fossil fuel and big polluter money running thick and fast through Westminster, it’s little wonder that the industry’s interests are favoured over and above those of people and planet. For good climate policy – for a liveable future – we need a #FossilFreeParliament.”

Mark Ruskell, Scottish Green SNP said on X: “When we get called ‘Extremist Greens’ by Holyrood Tories, just remember who funds them and why..”

Green MP Caroline Lucas said the amount received by the Tory Party was “obscene”. 

She wrote on X: “For any of the parties to have accepted any money from fossil fuel interests is unacceptable. For the governing party to have taken 8.4m is obscene. He who pays the piper calls the tune – is it any wonder the Govt has been propping up the planet-wrecking fossil fuel industry?”

Accountability campaign group MP Watch said: “This couldn’t explain the push back on Net Zero could it? Seriously is this failing party, stripped of ideas and talent really be selling all of our futures for party donations?”

(Image credit: Simon Walker / Number 10 – Creative Commons)

Hannah Davenport is news reporter at Left Foot Forward

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