WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today at the Warsaw Climate Change Conference (COP 19), UK climate secretary Ed Davey announced that the UK would ban international financing for coal projects except in rare circumstances. This is the latest in a string of similar announcements by the Obama Administration, five Nordic countries, and large multilateral development banks like the World Bank and the European Investment Bank. It’s likely that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will be next. According to its own annual reports, the UK Export Finance department has approved over $100 million for coal mining in Russia since 2011.
In response, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune, released the following statement:
“The Sierra Club commends the United Kingdom for their announcement today that they will move beyond financing the dirty coal that is destabilizing our climate.
“Despite the coal industry’s best efforts, there is a growing, global consensus to stop wasting public money on dirty coal that sickens communities, pollutes our air and water, and threatens our children’s future.
“In the aftermath of recent climate disruption catastrophes like Typhoon Haiyan, it’s clear that we can’t wait any longer for climate action. It’s time to clean up the dangerous carbon pollution that threatens our health and our children’s future, and coal is the first thing that needs to go.”