| WASHINGTON, June 16
WASHINGTON, June 16 The United States, United
Kingdom and Netherlands will float a plan this week requiring
new coal-fired power plants to meet a carbon pollution standard
in order to receive public funding from the world's wealthiest
countries, according to a draft seen by Reuters.
The countries will present the plan to the Organization for
Economic Cooperation and Development's exports credits group,
which started a week-long meeting on Monday.
Restrictions on export credits for coal-fired projects would
be the latest move by international financial organizations to
crack down on carbon pollution.
Delegates to the Paris-based organization will discuss,
among other topics, "how officially supported export credit
programs might contribute to the common goal of addressing
climate change," said David Drysdale, head of the OECD's export
Export credit agencies from OECD countries were responsible
for 60 percent of public support, or roughly $32 billion, for
coal projects abroad between 2007 and 2013, according to
watchdog group ECA Watch. Of that, Japan accounted for nearly
President Barack Obama's Climate Action Plan from June 2013
said the United States will limit its investment in coal
projects overseas and called on international organizations and
lenders to do the same.
Multilateral institutions such as the World Bank and the
European Investment Bank have also pledged not to finance
coal-fired power plants under most circumstances.
The U.S.-UK-Dutch proposal suggests OECD countries discuss
whether to require any new power plant to meet a carbon emission
standard, similar to one proposed by the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency in September for new U.S. facilities.
"We propose a fulsome discussion of a carbon emission
performance standard in the context of broader efforts to use
export credit policy to combat climate change, including of how
incentives and conditions could reinforce each other," the draft
By November, the proposal would call on OECD export credit
agency members to discuss the scope and form of a standard, such
as whether it should be set according to the level of carbon
emissions or emission intensity.
Between November and June 2015, the countries would discuss
a range of other details, such as which countries could be
exempted and what technologies could be allowed to get export
Green groups see export credit agencies as "a place of last
resort" for carbon-intensive industries to secure public funding
as other doors close. "There is clearly momentum toward closing
down sources of public funding," said Steve Herz, a senior
attorney for the Sierra Club.
The U.S. coal industry has said proposals such as this
jeopardize its ability to export its product to poor countries
attempting to grow out of poverty.
(Reporting by Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Ros Krasny and Dan