UK joins US commitment to end support for public financing of new coal-fired power plants overseas

21 November 2013 (Last Updated November 21st, 2013 18:30)

The UK has agreed to join with the US to stop public financing for new foreign coal-fired power plants with an exception in rare cases.

Coal-fired power

The UK has agreed to join the US to stop public financing for new foreign coal-fired power plants with an exception in rare cases.

In this regard, the governments will jointly work to gain support from foreign countries and multilateral development banks (MDBs) to adopt such policies to curb emissions across the globe.

The UK Energy and Climate Change secretary Edward Davey said investments in energy infrastructure is key to economic growth and poverty reduction in many developing countries, but coal-fired energy generation pose a serious threat to the climate change as it releases higher levels of carbon emissions.

The global coal demand is required to be reduced by 45% from 2009 levels by 2050 in order to avoid the climate change, which is now widely touted as the major environmental problem around the world.

As such, the world nations are required to rapidly transit themselves from unabated coal power generation to some other feasible solutions.

Davey said the government will only consider MDB proposals for coal power financing in the world's poorest countries.

Davey said: "It is completely illogical for countries like the UK and the US to be decarbonising our own energy sectors while paying for coal-fired power plants to be built in other countries.

"the world nations are required to rapidly transit themselves from unabated coal power generation to some other feasible solutions."

"It undermines global efforts to prevent dangerous climate change and stores up a future financial time bomb for those countries who would have to undo their reliance on coal-fired generation in the decades ahead, as we are having to do today."

In June 2013, the US proposed new plan/commitment to stop financial support of such foreign plants with some exceptions in rare cases, while the World Bank has backed the new strategy to limit such financing to rare circumstances.

The rare circumstances include the most efficient coal technology in the under developed countries in cases where there is no other better alternatives; and the facilities equipped with the carbon capture and sequestration technologies.

In July 2013, the European Investment Bank has agreed to finance the coal-based plants, should they meet new emissions performance standards.

Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland have also jointly agreed to the US commitment to end such financing for coal power.


Image: DECC secretary Edward Davey announces the UK's stance on public financing of coal plants overseas. Photo: courtesy of the UK Government.

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