Today, in the first major test of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan directive to end financing for overseas coal projects, the U.S. Export Import rejected the financing of U.S. exports to the 1200-megawatt Thai Binh Two coal-fired power plant in Vietnam.
This is good news. With any luck, this paves the way for U.S. agencies to continue to say no to finance for climate-altering coal projects internationally, and for the United States to use its vote at the multilateral development banks to halt coal projects from going forward. Up next, the United States needs to reject the World Bank’s proposed support for the Kosovo lignite power plant.
The Thai Binh Two project would use inefficient and outmoded subcritical combustion technology, creating local health and environmental impacts, as well as emitting significant amounts of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.
The President’s directive on ending coal financing overseas is an important step in the fight against climate change. It is reassuring to see that Export-Import Bank is taking the President’s directive seriously by rejecting this project.