Time for EBRD to Retire Old King Coal Definitely | WWF

Time for EBRD to Retire Old King Coal Definitely

Posted on 09 December 2013    
Coal fired power station, Suihua, China
© Global Warming Images / WWF

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

When and Where?

Tuesday 10 December, London, UK.


Tomorrow, the European Bank for reconstruction and Development's board of directors [1] will decide on a new energy policy for the next 5 years.

WWF urges the EBRD’s board members to announce a clear phase-out of support for coal and to support energy efficiency as well as renewables as the new norm in energy production [2].

A quick look at the EBRD’s "Energy Investment Portfolio" shows that 48% of its finance between 2006 -2011 has been directed towards fossil fuels against only a paltry 11% towards sustainable renewable energy and 13% towards energy efficiency [3].

The last few months have seen an unprecedented wave of positive commitments from big public financial institutions to virtually end financing coal power. This includes the World Bank, the European Investment Bank, the French and British Development Agencies (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.

It is time for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to follow the lead and phase out support for coal given its disastrous impacts on climate and health.

Quotes from Sebastien Godinot, Economist at WWF European Policy Office:

“It is high time for the EBRD to finally say goodbye to old-fashioned coal and say “no more” - once and for all. After such a crucial first step, the Bank should progressively phase out support for all fossil fuels.

Instead of locking countries into dirty energies for the next 50 years [4], the EBRD should refocus entirely on the transition to green energy technologies. Clearly the best way forward is with renewable energy sources and energy savings.”

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.


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 European Investment Bank. The EBRD is financing energy projects in 34 countries – from Eastern countries of the European Union to Central Asia, including former Yugoslavia and transition economies of the former Soviet Union.

[2 ] WWF’s 4 key asks for the EBRD energy lending reviews are:

1. Immediately phase out coal support and introduce a carbon shadow pricing as well as an Emission Performance Standard of 500-550 g CO2/kWh - similar to the one set up by the European Investment Bank;

2. Promote climate policy and regulatory frameworks in countries of operation (including phasing out fossil fuel subsidies);

3. Boost support for renewables and energy savings, in particular on the demand side; and

4. Commit to the most stringent standards for hydropower to avoid or mitigate harmful impacts on ecosystems and local communities.

[3] WWF infographics: Why the EBRD must quit coal NOW

[4] 35-50 years is the usual lifespan of a coal fired plant.


Audrey Gueudet
Climate & Energy Media and Communication Officer
WWF European Policy Officer
Phone: +32 2 743 88 06 |
Mobile: + 32 494 03 20 27
Coal fired power station, Suihua, China
© Global Warming Images / WWF Enlarge

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