Elizabeth Bast, ebast [at] priceofoil [dot] org
David Turnbull, david [at] priceofoil [dot] org

Analysis Finds Public Finance from Rich Nations Driving Global Coal Expansion:
Governments Must End Support to Fossil Fuels to Avoid Dangerous Climate Change

March 4, 2015 – Countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) meet today in Paris to discuss how to curb public export credit agency financing for coal plants overseas. A new analysis of leaked OECD data finds that over the last decade, export credit agency finance has played a significant role in supporting coal power generation globally.

The analysis can be found here: 

The analysis finds that OECD export credits contribute significantly to global coal power capacity expansion, providing financing to nearly one-quarter of new coal power capacity outside of China between 2005 and 2012. Further, OECD export credit agency financing for coal has increased in recent years, with $11 billion of $19 billion in financing since 2003 coming in the last five years.

Five countries – South Korea, United States, France, Japan and Germany – are responsible for 92 percent of OECD coal power plant export credits in the last 5 years. But only two of those countries – the United States and France – have indicated that they will limit export credit support for coal power plants, and those commitments do not include other aspects of coal production.

“As part of ending public support for fossil fuels and meeting climate commitments, governments must make strong, immediate commitments to end international finance for coal, including coal mines, infrastructure, and power plants,” said Heike Mainhardt of Oil Change International. “OECD countries should make public commitments before the United Nations climate conference in December 2015.“

Through continued public financial support to fossil fuel projects overseas, OECD nations are contributing significantly to climate change. The OECD data suggests nations’ export credit support averages at least $8 billion annually, but even the OECD admits that the estimate is incomplete.

Information on public financing – which should be available – instead remains opaque, and governments have no requirements to report large amounts of their public financing.