Americans have made it clear: We want a cleaner future. This means investing in sustainable and efficient renewable energy at home and abroad.
The Trump administration, however, is an adamant supporter of Big Oil. Recently, Trump came dangerously close to spreading his industry-friendly agenda to the international stage. Fossil fuel giant PetroVietnam is in the process of building the Long Phu 1 coal power plant in southern Vietnam and asked for international financial support from the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im).
Aside from the U.S., every nation in the world has signed on to the Paris Agreement, pledging to move forward on climate action. A return to coal dependency is a step backwards for the world.
If built, Long Phu 1 would produce roughly 5.4 million tons of carbon dioxide a year, damaging local air, water, protected land, and human health. Friends of the Earth worked tirelessly to expose the potential funding of this plant by Ex-Im–a deal that easily could have snuck under the radar.
We were able to shed light on this project, working with the New York Times to publish a story on Long Phu 1 and America’s potential support. A few weeks later, PetroVietnam withdrew their request for American financial assistance.
The future of Long Phu 1 is unclear, but global demand for fossil fuels remains unsolved. Ex-Im not supporting this coal plant is a huge victory, though, especially in undermining Trump’s attempts to promote fossil fuels on the international stage.
Export credit agencies (ECAs) from G20 countries are a major source of financing for oil and gas projects, serving as a boon for the fossil fuel industry. ECAs must act to phase out all support for fossil fuels.