FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
2 June 2015
David Turnbull, david [at] priceofoil [dot] org
Stephen Kretzmann, steve [at] priceofoil [dot] org
New report lifts the rug on billions of secret public finance for a dying coal industry
Analysis shows $73 billion in public support for coal over 8 years
A new report released today by Oil Change International, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) exposes for the first time a web of billions of dollars of public finance flowing to support the coal industry each year by way of export support, development aid and general finance.
The analysis finds that public finance has played a significant role in supporting coal projects over the last 8 years. The report shows that between 2007 and 2014, more than US $73 billion – or over $9 billion a year – in public finance was approved for coal.
In particular, the analysis shows that Export Credit Agencies from Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries are the biggest source of financing for coal, and that support has been increasing. Nearly half (47 percent) of the total international finance for coal came through Export Credit Agencies in OECD countries, the report finds.
“Governments have to stop supporting the industries that are causing climate change. The ability of governments to accomplish this is a key test of their commitment to fighting climate change in the run up to the Paris UN Summit on Climate” said Stephen Kretzmann, Executive Director of Oil Change International. “If they can’t even stop giving handouts to the coal industry, really, what can they do?”
Combining all known public sources of finance for the coal industry, and augmenting them with subscription industry databases, the report released today makes comprehensive information on public financing for coal easily accessible for the first time.
“If not for countries like Japan, Korea and Australia standing up for their coal industry friends, the OECD would have already moved to eliminate export financing for coal,” Kretzmann said. “Instead of moving forward to support clean energy development and a climate-safe future, these countries are blocking progress while secretly propping up a dying industry.”