Japan, China and Saudi Arabia say new coal plants must be among green energy projects financed by global Green Climate Fund which in turn is funded by taxpayer dollars:
3/29/15, "UN green climate fund can be spent on coal-fired power generation," UK Guardian, Suzanne Goldenberg
"The UN fund to help developing countries fight climate change can be
spent on coal-fired power plants– the most polluting form of
electricity generation – under rules agreed at a board meeting.
The green climate fund (GCF) refused an explicit ban on fossil fuel
projects at the contentious meeting in Songdo, South Korea, last week.
“It’s like a torture convention that doesn’t forbid torture,” said
Karen Orenstein, a campaigner for Friends of the Earth US who was at the
meeting. “Honestly it should be a no-brainer at this point.”
The fund was set up as part of the ongoing UN climate
negotiations to help developing countries finance clean energy and
measures to help adapt to climate change.
Its website states:
“The fund will promote the paradigm shift towards low-emission and
climate-resilient development pathways by providing support to
developing countries to limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.”
It has struggled for support, however, with industrialised countries
paying only about 1% of the $10.2bn (£6.9bn) committed at the UN climate
negotiations in Lima last December. The deadline for contributions is
With no clear rules on climate finance, much of the funds can be channelled to dirty energy, campaigners say.
Japan designated $1bn in loans for coal plants in Indonesia as climate finance, according to reporting by the Associated Press. Last week Japan counted another $630m in loans for coal plants in India and Bangladesh as climate finance.
Japan claims the projects are less polluting than older coal-fired
plants and so qualify as clean energy.
“Japan is of the view that the
promotion of high-efficiency coal-fired power plants is one of the
realistic, pragmatic and effective approaches to cope with the issue of
climate change,” Takako Ito, a foreign ministry spokeswoman, told AP.
Campaigners say the lack of clear rules makes a mockery of the fund.
“Many people think it’s crazy that they are not going to have a no-go
zone,” (Karen) Orenstein said. “The fact that the GCF won’t say it is
problematic both for the integrity of the fund, and also reputational
Japan, China and Saudi Arabia opposed such a ban, she said.
The board agreed to set a minimum benchmark for the greenhouse gas
emissions cuts that projects must achieve, but not until 2016.
Meanwhile, they will apply an “assessment scale” to the first projects,
which are set to be approved in October."