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Nordic countries end financing of coal projects

World Coal,

The governments of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden has joined with the US in committing to end public financing of coal-fired power plants overseas except in rare circumstance.

Coal is vital to affordable electricity

As part of broad statement on a range of shared values – including a commitment to democracy, human rights, global development and humanitarian assistance, as well as climate change – the countries agreed to “continue their work, in all appropriate channels, to reduce the use of domestic fossil fuel subsidies globally.”

In response, Milton Catelin, CEO of the World Coal Association, called the announcement disappointing: “Western governments are repeatedly refusing to acknowledge the vital role coal plays as an affordable, reliable, abundant source of energy. This is particularly disappointing given a number of these countries rely on coal for their own electricity supplies. Denmark uses coal for over 30% of its electricity. The US relies on coal for over 40% of its electricity.”

Encourage use of clean coal technologies

According to Catelin, western governments should rather encourage countries to use the most efficient and clean technologies available – including advanced coal technology – particular where such technology can help to lift people out of energy poverty.

The move follows decisions by the World Bank and European Investment Bank to restrict financing of coal projects.

Edited from various sources by Jonathan Rowland

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