Save the Children rejects $1m donation to Ukraine from North Sea oil company Business

Save the Children turned down a $1million donation from a North Sea gas producer to help with its work in Ukraine because of its opposition to fossil fuels.

The charity turned down money offered by Neptune Energy two weeks ago on the grounds that it is “committed to working on climate change issues for the foreseeable future”.

Neptune instead donated $2 million to support Ukraine’s efforts through the International Rescue Committee and the Red Cross, and also matches donations made by its employees around the world.

Save the Children told the Telegraph it plans to ‘stop taking donations from companies whose main business is in fossil fuels as soon as possible’ as the world seeks to wean itself off dependence on oil and Russian gas.

Neptune, a private company chaired by former Centrica chief executive Sam Laidlaw, produces about 130,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day from the North Sea and elsewhere.

It said its carbon emissions from production were well below the industry average, aimed to store more carbon than is emitted by its operations and products by 2030, and was highly rated. in environmental rankings.

He approached Save the Children about a $1million donation earlier this month, but the charity told Neptune: “As an organization we are committed to working on issues change in the foreseeable future and therefore we cannot accept this donation.”

Save the Children added that it “would be able to consider a donation to our Children’s Emergency Fund, which supports children in Ukraine and other complex crises around the world”.

In a letter to Save the Children’s trustees questioning the decision, Neptune said it chose the charity based on workers’ wishes.

The refusal had left workers “shocked, appalled and left wondering if their own personal donations would no longer be accepted by Save the Children”, he added.

He urged the charity not to refuse donations “which could make a material difference in your ability to achieve your stated goal of ‘every child getting a chance at the future they deserve’.”

Save the Children works in around 117 countries around the world and is chaired by Dr Tsitsi Chawatama-Kwambana, pediatrician.

Its vice-president, Richard Winter, is a partner at PwC, which advises several energy companies. Board member Anne Fahy worked for oil company BP for 27 years, including as chief financial officer of its aviation fuel business.

The charity was embroiled in a bullying and sex scandal that emerged in 2018, and the Charity Commission discovered “serious weaknesses” in the charity’s workplace culture.

He temporarily suspended offers of future taxpayer money in light of the scandal and Brendan Cox, a former executive, apologized for “any injury and offense caused”.

A spokesperson for the charity said: ‘We decided earlier this month that we would stop taking donations from companies whose main business is fossil fuels as soon as possible.

“The only exception during a transition period before this policy takes effect would be a large donation to our flexible children’s emergency fund. The reason is that it could be used in a crisis for which relatively little money is available, such as in the Horn of Africa.

“We changed our policy following an initiative by children around the world who protested the threat the climate crisis posed to their future.”

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This notice was published: 2022-03-22 20:08:58

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