NGOs call for London-based bank to stop financing coal power

Environmental groups are calling on the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to stop lending cash for coal projects. NGOs including the WWF, SEE Change Net and Bankwatch are […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Environmental groups are calling on the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to stop lending cash for coal projects.

NGOs including the WWF, SEE Change Net and Bankwatch are delivering a petition signed by more than 17,000 people to the EBRD today asking the bank to stop financing fossil fuels – starting with coal – during their public consultation in Serbia.

They are urging the London-based bank to follow on the footsteps of the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the World Bank, both of which said they would stop financing coal projects earlier this year.

According to statistics from Bankwatch, the EBRD loaned more than €675 million (£570m) between 2006 and 2011 for coal projects.

Jason Anderson, Head of Climate & Energy Policy at WWF European Policy Office said: “Our international Seize Your Power campaign calls on public financial leaders to boost support for renewable energy and energy savings – the EBRD needs to be part of this solution.

“It should lead the way in investing in a fossil fuel free world – starting immediately by abandoning coal projects such as the Kolubara B lignite power plant in Serbia or the Kosova e Re lignite power plant in Kosovo. These projects will lock in polluting emissions for decades to come”.

EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard also recently called on the EBRD, EIB and the World Bank – which have a combined annual lending pot of €130 billion (£109.8bn) – to end support for fossil fuels in their energy lending policy reviews.

Earlier this month a report revealed China has outpaced the rest of the world as the largest consumer of primary materials such as fossil fuels, with coal supply growing the most rapidly.