Save the Children turned down a $1m donation for its work in Ukraine from a North Sea oil and gas producer due to its opposition to fossil fuels.
The charity refused Neptune Energy’s money – worth around £750,000 – on the grounds that it is “committed to working on climate change issues for the foreseeable future”.
In a letter to Save the Children’s trustees querying the decision, Neptune said it had chosen the charity following a consultation with employee representatives.
The knock-back was said to have left its workers “shocked, dismayed and left wondering whether their own personal donations will no longer be welcomed by Save the Children”.
The firm said the decision “seems to have been arrived at without even minimal scrutiny of who Neptune Energy is and what we do”.
Addressing the trustees, the firm said: “We wanted to draw this decision to your attention, and to recommend further scrutiny on your part to ensure that your teams are not declining donations which could make a material difference to your ability to meet your stated aim where ‘every child has a chance of the future they deserve’.”
The funds will now be donated to alternative charities.
A spokesperson for Save the Children said: “We decided earlier this month that we would stop taking donations as soon as possible from companies whose core business is in fossil fuels.
“The only exception during a transitional period before this policy comes into force would be a large donation to our flexible Children’s Emergency Fund.
“The reason is that this [can] be used in a crisis for which relatively little money is available, such as in the Horn of Africa.
“We’ve changed our policy following a lead given by children all over the world who have protested about the threat the climate crisis poses to their future.”