France reaffirms its commitment to phase out coal financing abroad, but more to do to show climate leadership

Climate Action Network said today the reaffirmation by French President Francois Hollande that the country would stop funding coal plants overseas through export credits was to be welcomed as long as the ban starts now. 

With President Hollande to host the major UN climate negotiations in December this year at which a new, global agreement will be signed, it is heartening to see the government hinting at climate leadership. However, France can really show it means business by encouraging other countries in the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to commit to the same standard as soon as possible.

As part of the ongoing transition away from dirty fossil fuels, its imperative governments and institutions stop funding new coal projects and instead shift their investments to projects that speed up the path to 100% renewable energy. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in a major report last year that to keep the temperature rise within limits agreed by governments, the world had to reach a complete phase out of fossil fuel emissions. That means most of the world's known fossil fuel reserves have to stay in the ground. 

Climate negotiators will meet in Geneva on Sunday to continue negotiations on the global agreement.