Japan provided US$22 billion of the $42 billion that G7 countries invested in coal projects from 2007 to 2015, and Germany came through with another $9 billion, a new report by the Natural Resources Defense Council revealed this week.
“This practice directly undermines the groundbreaking U.N. Paris Agreement—which all G7 nations signed in December 2015—to limit global temperature rise to 2°C, and to make best efforts to limit it to 1.5°,” write NRDC International Climate Advocate Han Chen and International Program Director Jake Schmidt. “Perhaps worse, G7 nations are trying to sweep their support for dirty coal under the rug.”
Coal accounts for 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Yet G7 countries “are spending billions of dollars to support coal projects in emerging economies, locking these recipient nations into decades of coal use and dangerous environmental and health impacts,” Chen and Schmidt note. “This is happening even though savvy investors increasingly view coal power plants as unprofitable ‘stranded assets’ in the long term.”