WWF: EBRD commits to step away from coal



Posted on 10 December 2013  | 
Coal mining
© AFPEnlarge

Today, WWF welcomed the move by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) [1] to adopt measures which, if implemented properly [2] should phase out its financial support of coal plants and promote increased investments in renewable energy and energy savings. In the coming months, WWF will be closely monitoring the EBRD’s energy funding decisions to check if the Bank effectively walks the talk.

With this historic decision, the EBRD has decided to follow the lead of the last months’ unprecedented wave of positive commitments from big public financial institutions to virtually end financing coal power [3]. WWF says that it is now time for other public financial institutions, in particular multilateral development banks, to follow suit immediately and shape the world’s shift to energy savings and sustainable energy.

WWF also welcomes the Bank’s improvements of its energy policy in other areas such as energy savings, more stringent hydropower standards, shadow carbon pricing and climate commitments.

Reacting to the Bank’s vote today, Sebastien Godinot, economist at WWF’s European Policy Office, said:

“Today, the EBRD finally said goodbye to old-fashioned coal and joined the growing movement in international development finance in ending funding for coal projects given their disastrous impacts on climate and health. It is now time for all other public financial institutions, in particular multilateral development banks, to follow suit immediately.

The move by the EBRD is positive, but to have a serious chance of keeping global warming below 2°C, the EBRD needs to strengthen its standards and eventually phase out its support for all power supply based on fossil fuels.

In the coming months, we will be closely monitoring how the EBRD is implementing its new ‘anti-coal policy’ and if the Bank actually walks the talk. The decision whether to support or not a new 600 MW lignite plant project in Kosovo, that the Bank may be asked to co-finance, will be a first crucial test. The Bank must stand firm on its ‘anti-coal policy’ and support clean alternatives for Kosovo and elsewhere.”


Seize Your Power, WWF's new global campaign

WWF's new global campaign, Seize Your Power, calls on financial institutions to significantly increase their funding of renewable energy and cut funding to fossil fuels because we recognise that the level of CO2 emissions in the world requires drastic action to limit global warming.

ENDS

Note to the editors:

[1] The European Bank for reconstruction and Development’s board of Director is made up of shareholders representing 64 countries (including the 28 EU Member States), plus the European Union and the European Investment Bank. The EBRD is financing energy projects in 34 countries – from Eastern countries of the European Union to Central Asia, stretching South to the Mediterranean and North Africa.

[2] The EBRD has adopted an anti-coal policy, allowing for such investments only in “rare / exceptional circumstances”. Four requirements will be applied to the review of future energy supply investments, which must show that they: (i) represent the least carbon intensive option realistically available; (ii) use Best Available Techniques (BAT) as defined in the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED); (iii) comply with the IED requirement of carbon capture and storage; (iv) demonstrate economic viability even after integrating a shadow price that includes adverse carbon and other pollution impacts..

[3] This includes the World Bank, the European Investment Bank, the French and British Development Agency (AFD and CDC) and the US export credit agency (Ex-Im Bank) – as well as the governments of the United States, the UK, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland ending overseas funding to coal power.


Contact:

Audrey Gueudet
Climate & Energy Media and Communication Officer
WWF European Policy Officer
agueudet@wwf.eu
Phone: +32 2 743 88 06 |
Mobile: + 32 494 03 20 27
Coal mining
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