Coal – Reducing ‘dirty’ investments
Historically the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has lagged behind its counterparts in substantially reducing its financing of coal plants, the largest source of greenhouse gasses.
This is due to change after the release of their 5 year strategic plan to limit ‘coal cash’ and shift to investing in cleaner technologies.
After petitioning, watchful eyes regarding corruption, and political pressure including Obama’s pledge earlier in the year to stop the US funding coal plants overseas, the EBRD is now ‘on topic’ with most large financial institutions such as the World Bank and the European Investment Bank.
This is great news, but it’s obviously early days.
Here are some facts and figures around the announcement including the commercial and environmental impacts of coal:
* The EBRD operates in 34 countries across eastern Europe and central Asia
* Since 2006 the bank has invested $8.6 billion in energy and power projects, $2.75 billion has been directed to renewables and $717m towards coal
* Since 1994, World Bank, EIB and EBRB have invested over $37.5bn in coal projects
* Of the renewables, it’s mostly hydroelectric power and wind energy that are used
* The bank is to co-finance a new 600 MW lignite power plant in Kosovo next year
* It has been suggested that if we are are to keep climate change below 2°, we must keep 80% of known fossil fuel reserves under ground
Here, Heffa Schücking, CEE Bankwatch Network discusses issues around coal mining and usage.