The UK environmental transformation fund was announced by the prime minister in November 2007, and was widely expected to be made in direct grants to countries experience climate change impacts, the report said on Saturday. In fact, the money will be administered by the World Bank, mainly in the form of concessionary loans that poor countries will have to pay back to the UK with interest.
Several countries joined environment and development groups to condemn the loans. "We need urgently to prepare for climate change, but we are not in a position to pay back loans," said a spokesman for the Bangladesh high commission in London. "The climate situation has not been created by us. The money should come spontaneously from rich countries and not be a loan." Bangladesh expects up to 80 million people to be displaced by climate change within 50 years, the report added.