France and the United States are teaming up to propose a ground-breaking ban on private financing of coal-fired power plants at the upcoming COP28 climate conference in Dubai. The bold move is set to deepen divisions among the participating nations, with India and China staunchly opposed to any attempt to block the construction of coal-fired power plants.
According to our sources, the French Minister of State for Development, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, personally communicated the plan, called the “New Coal Exclusion Policy,” to Indian government officials. The policy targets private financial institutions and insurance companies, with the aim of cutting off private financing of coal-fired power plants.
This exclusive news has not been reported before, and is sure to spark intense debate at the COP28 summit, scheduled for November 30 to December 12. The proposal seeks to set carbon exit standards for private financial firms under the watchful eye of regulators, rating agencies and non-governmental organizations.
The United States, the European Union, Canada and other nations have called for a phase-out of coal, citing it as the main threat to global climate goals. They express concern about the continued support of private international finance to expand coal capacity in developing countries.
About 490 gigawatts of new coal-fired capacity, equivalent to a fifth of existing global capacity, is currently planned or under construction, mainly in India and China. This alarming trend prompted the US Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change, Rick Duke, to emphasize the urgent need for a global transition to clean energy and a halt to the construction of new coal-fired power plants without to stop
However, member countries remain divided on the issue of emission reduction technologies, with some developing countries arguing that viable commercial-scale alternatives have not yet emerged. India, which generates about 73% of its electricity from coal, intends to resist any push to set a deadline to phase out fossil fuels at COP28. Instead, the country can advocate focusing on reducing emissions from other sources and urging developed nations to become carbon negative by 2050, rather than simply carbon neutral.
This breaking news from Sarita Chaganti Singh, Valerie Volcovici and Kate Abnett promises to set the stage for intense negotiations and discussions at COP28.
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