Economics for the Earth Blog

Trump seeks rollback of internationally agreed upon coal restrictions

Posted Jun. 29, 2017 / Posted by: Audrey Fox

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a speech today, Trump announced his intention to remove restrictions on public financing of coal projects overseas. If successful, this could violate an Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) agreement that went into effect January 1, 2017. The OECD Export Credit Group, which the United States is a party to, agreed to no longer support less efficient coal plants, except in the least developed countries. This agreement has restricted the types of coal plants that the U.S. Export-Import Bank (EXIM), the U.S. export credit agency, can finance. EXIM is currently considering supporting the Long Phu-1 coal plant in Vietnam, which would violate the OECD restrictions. Trump’s plan could also impact the Treasury Department’s 2013 guidance on how the U.S. votes on potential coal financing at multilateral development banks.

In response to the announcement, Kate DeAngelis, Friends of the Earth’s international policy analyst, issued the following statement:

Trump continues his love affair with coal while ignoring climate science and the poor local communities around the world hurt by U.S.-financed coal plants. Trump would violate an international agreement if he decided to allow the U.S. to once again finance the dirtiest of coal plants. It is time for the world’s largest historical emitter to stop propping up obsolete technologies and move toward renewable energy solutions.

Expert contact: Kate DeAngelis, (202) 222-0747, kdeangelis@foe.org 
Communications contact: Patrick Davis, (202) 222-0744, pdavis@foe.org

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