One day after U.S.-China climate commitments, green groups urge Obama to protect extant international climate policies
WASHINGTON, D.C. – One day after the U.S. and China announced new climate deal, the heads of eleven leading national environmental groups urged President Obama to protect administration policies that that prevent federal financing for coal plants abroad — measures that are now under threat from coal state politicians.
President Obama’s 2013 Climate Action Plan calls for an end to federal financing for coal plants abroad except in certain circumstances — a vitally important step to protect global climate, with ancillary benefits for the local environment and human health. Since this commitment, the bilateral development finance institutions of the U.K., France, Germany and the Nordic Countries have taken similar action.
However, coal state politicians from both parties in Congress now threaten these policies through “riders,” that they hope to attach like leaches to the must-pass FY 2015 Appropriations legislation. The current spending bill expires on December 11, 2014.
“President Obama is trying to demonstrate international leadership in climate change, and the U.S.’s policy to curb financing for coal plants abroad has been one key example,” said Erich Pica, President of Friends of the Earth U.S. “We urge President Obama to protect this policy. If anything, it needs to be expanded to include financing for coal mining and export, as well as other fossil fuel projects.”
The letter of the eleven groups can be found here.
Note to editors: The Ex-Im Bank and OPIC are principal U.S. trade and development finance institutions and in the last decade have financed billions of dollars in coal power plants abroad.