The U.S., the European Union, South Korea and other wealthy nations are moving to forbid their export-financing agencies from supporting coal-fired power projects overseas, in an effort to end government support for a fuel that is one of the world’s biggest sources of greenhouse gases.
The proposed ban, which will be made this week at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, is part of the West’s campaign to push China, India and other big developing countries to take a tough position against coal ahead of the November climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland. China and India have resisted entreaties by the U.S. and Europe to commit to end subsidies for coal-fired electricity, raising fears that deadlock over the issue could result in the collapse of climate negotiations in Glasgow.
The OECD, a Paris-based organization of 38 developing and developed economies, oversees an agreement governing export-credit agencies, which provide financing for overseas customers of the countries’ domestic companies. The U.S., the 27 nations of the EU, the U.K., Norway, Switzerland, Japan, Australia, South Korea, New Zealand and Turkey are signatories of the deal.
Australia, Turkey, Japan and New Zealand have yet to support the proposal, which is being championed by the EU, officials familiar with the talks say. Australia is one of the world’s biggest coal miners, while Turkey never signed the Paris climate agreement of 2015. Japan has in the past been a major financier of coal-fired electricity projects overseas. The EU, the U.S. and other supporters of the proposal are prepared to implement it even without the agreement of those four countries, officials say.