Rich powers cut export aid for coal plants

2015-11-19 12:13
(File, iStock)

(File, iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Paris - Advanced economies including the United States, Japan and European Union have agreed for the first time to restrict state aid for exports of large, inefficient coal-fired power stations, the OECD announced on Wednesday.

The deal was immediately denounced by environmental group Friends of the Earth, however, for failing to be tougher against all coal-fired power plants, which emit the heat-trapping carbon dioxide gas blamed for global warming.

The news coincided with a British announcement that all coal power stations without the technology to capture carbon emissions will be closed within 10 years.

It comes less than a fortnight before a November 30-December 11 UN climate conference in Paris, aimed at securing a worldwide deal to curb greenhouse gas emissions and stave off catastrophic climate change.

Lack of ambition

"The negotiations started two years ago at the behest of the United States to see if we could cut back on support for coal fired power plants in the context of climate," said David Drysdale, export credit department chief at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

"Effectively the agreement does limit the support," he told AFP.

The agreement, which comes into force at the start of 2017, bars new export credits for large coal-fired power stations unless they are in the most efficient category. Some smaller, less efficient power stations may also be allowed to benefit from such state aid, with more flexibility given to the poorest nations.

If it had been in place at the time, the agreement would have prevented about three-quarters of the export credits given for coal-fired plants from 2003-2013 by nations taking part, Drysdale said.

Environmentalists criticised the lack of ambition, however.

'More holes than a sieve'

"With so many loopholes, this agreement has more holes than a sieve," said Friends of the Earth US international policy analyst Kate DeAngelis.

"In a world where any new coal plant reinforces the climate crisis, the OECD is merely another forum for developed countries to close their eyes to the climate emergency and their duty to adopt solutions to the crisis for which they are mainly responsible," she said in a statement.

Countries give export credits - cheap financing, insurance or guarantees - to promote their export industries.

The new export credit restrictions for coal-powered stations have yet to be formally adopted by the European Union, which is expected to approve them by the end of the month. They are to be reviewed for possible strengthening in mid-2019.

Nations taking part are Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, the United States and Switzerland.

Not all countries agree with the push against coal.

Poland, which relies on coal for more than 90% of its electricity generation, said on Wednesday it remains attached to coal as its prime energy source.

"Our energy security requires us to keep Polish coal as an energy source, and that includes brown coal," new Prime Minister Beata Szydlo told parliament.

Read more on:    eu  |  us  |  japan

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham

Here are just ten of our favourite plus-sized models:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content these holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
How to open a beer bottle without an opener
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.