UK rebuked for climate aid rethink

Poor countries will have to pay back aid given to them by Britain in an international project to help them adapt to climate change, according to newspapers.

Aid money in the £800 million UK Environmental Transformation Fund, announced by Gordon Brown in November, was expected to be made in direct grants to countries suffering storms, droughts and rises in sea levels linked to climate change.

But now the concessionary loans administered by the World Bank will have to be repaid with interest, the Guardian claimed.

The newspaper said environment minister Phil Woolas and trade and development counterpart Gareth Thomas want G8 countries to contribute to the new fund.

The government hopes will secure £1.5 billion in funding at the G8 summit in Japan in July.

WWF and ActionAid both said climate adaptation funds should be additional to aid in the form of grants.

A spokeswoman for the Department for International Development said: "A number of details are still under discussion, including the structure of the funds, how they are governed, which countries are prioritised for funding, and how much money different donors will commit."

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