Turning the Corner on Dirty Coal Projects
U.S. Export-Import Bank Rejects Coal Plant in Vietnam
Pacific Environment is applauding today’s decision of an obscure but rich federal bank called Export-Import Bank to implement one of the strongest elements of President Obama’s recently released Climate Action Plan—a commitment to end U.S. funding of fossil fuel plants abroad except for rare exceptions. Today, the Export-Import Bank’s Board of Directors voted to deny financing for the highly polluting and inefficient Thai Binh II coal power plant in Vietnam.
“By denying tax-payer backed financing for this dirty coal project, the Export-Import Bank put the Action in the President’s Climate Action Plan. We applaud their courageous decision,” said Doug Norlen, Policy Director of Pacific Environment.
The Export-Import Bank’s decision is a welcome surprise for environmental groups that monitor the federal agency. Most Americans have never heard of the Export-Import Bank, or know that this public agency provided a staggering $10 billion to corporations for fossil fuel financing in 2012, which is double the amount it provided in 2011, which itself was a record year. Through this channel, U.S. taxpayers backed some of the biggest coal projects on earth, as well as harmful and illegal fossil fuel plants being built inside Australia’s Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Pollution from these and other fossil fuel projects backed by this Bank contribute to severe health impacts in local communities, including deaths or incapacitation from heart disease, cancer, stroke, asthma, and other respiratory diseases. And along with the pollution they cause, these U.S.–financed projects can actually increase the cost of electricity for the poor.
“The Directors’ decision today has turned the corner on dirty coal projects and hopefully sets a new course towards ending fossil fuel financing and growing renewable energy support,” said Alex Levinson, Executive Director, Pacific Environment.
About Pacific Environment
Pacific Environment is a non-profit organization based in San Francisco that protects the living environment of the Pacific Rim by promoting grassroots activism, strengthening communities and reforming international policies. For over two decades, we have partnered with local communities around the Pacific Rim to protect and preserve the ecological treasures of this vital region.
For more information:
Doug Norlen, Pacific Environment, 202.465.1650, [email protected]