It’s Time to Come Clean

11 June 2014

Japan, France, Germany and South Korea!

Hi Japan, France, Germany and South Korea: is that soot on your face?

What’s in your wallet? ECO took a quick look and started coughing from the coal soot in there! A healthy ECO was very happy last week to hear parties in Bonn calling for a phase out of fossil fuel emissions by 2050, and news that China and the US were tackling their coal emissions, the coughing version of ECO is very worried. We’re worried we can’t reach that goal until countries put their money where there mouth is, and stop spending public money on coal.This is a waste of scarce resources that could be more wisely spent on renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency (EE) projects, particularly in developing countries.

What a dirty waste it has been! Over the past six years, Export Credit Agencies (ECA) in OECD countries provided at least US$32 billion for coal projects abroad. The good news is that some countries are starting to worry about their laundry bills and are beginning to clean up their act. For example, last year, the United States set a new policy to clean up its international public finance for coal.

Next week’s at the OECD meeting, governments have a chance to decide to move towards ending ECA financing for coal. Sadly, some countries, yes you: Japan, France, Germany and South Korea, with your sooty wallets, appear to be holding up this very smart and collective move. ECO wonders how these countries can table something big at the Climate Summit if they cannot agree to this first step to close the current gigatonne gap and phase out fossil fuel emissions by 2050. 


A wheezy ECO

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