Experts see growing stranded asset threat for China’s continued coal plant financing

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享South China Morning Post:China risks being left behind as South Korea and Japan signal a shift away from financing overseas coal power in response to growing criticism over their support for the dirty fossil fuel.The three countries are the top global lenders for coal energy infrastructure, bankrolling projects beyond their borders through export credit agencies and developing new markets to export coal plant technology. But there are signs that Japan and South Korea may be preparing to scale back official support amid mounting pressure from the public and investors on environmental grounds.Japan announced last month that it would tighten funding criteria for foreign coal-fired power plants, and next month South Korean lawmakers will debate several bills aimed at banning overseas coal investment as part of a post-coronavirus “Green New Deal”.“This is profoundly serious, because it is an acceleration of a trend that is already established in global financial markets,” said Melissa Brown, the director of energy finance studies, Asia, at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. “It has a very strong economic foundation, which is that – based on virtually all of the coherent and credible evidence we have today – coal-fired power facilities that are brought into service in the next five years are extremely unlikely to have a productive, profitable economic life.”China has an outsize impact on development financing for coal. From 2000-2019, its two global policy banks – the China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China – issued loans totaling US$51.8 billion for coal energy projects around the world, according to the Global Development Policy Centre at Boston University.In comparison, Japan spent US$26 billion financing 36 overseas coal-fired power plants between January 2003 and April 2019, the Japan Centre for a Sustainable Environment and Society estimated. South Korean public financial institutions, meanwhile, supported 24 overseas coal projects with US$10 billion from 2008 to 2018, according to Solutions for Our Climate (SFOC), a Seoul-based non-profit organisation.[Harry Pearl]More: China slow to curb coal financing as Japan, South Korea ‘accept new reality’ on phasing out fossil fuels Experts see growing stranded asset threat for China’s continued coal plant financinglast_img

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