Global coal production received more than US$73 billion in government subsidies between 2007 and 2014, according to a report released this week by Oil Change International, NRDC, and the World Wide Fund for Nature.
“The full extent of government financing for coal overseas is not common knowledge, and is revealed in this report for the first time,” Oil Change International writes. “Our analysis finds that public finance has played a significant role in supporting coal projects over the last eight years.”
Japan led the financing parade, with more than US$20 billion in contributions over the study period. “In the OECD, Korea and Germany were the next largest sources of funding for coal. Japan, Korea, and Australia are leading the opposition to limits on coal finance in international discussions.”
The report shows that international coal finance triggers a half-billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year, and close to 18 gigatonnes over the operating life of the plants that received the subsidies. That means public finance for coal “is responsible for as much pollution as the nation of Italy,” Turnbull writes.
“OECD Export Credit Agencies are the biggest part of the problem, and their support for coal has been increasing: they have become the last resort source of international public funding for coal from rich countries,” he adds. (h/t to The Daily Tck for pointing us to this story)