ADB promises to halt coal financing
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is mulling over helping wean developing countries from coal while also supporting gas-fired power generation as an insurance against the intermittent supply from renewables like solar and wind.
The multilateral lender is currently updating its energy policy, which is scheduled for submission to the board of directors in the fourth quarter this year.
Environmentalist groups have been pressuring the ADB to stop funding coal projects, while groups like the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities and the Center for Energy, Ecology and Development feel the bank’s latest stance is half-baked.
ADB’s current energy policy was adopted in 2009.
Yongping Zhai, chief of ADB’s energy sector group, said the bank’s management agreed with an evaluation that the 2009 policy was no longer adequately aligned with the global consensus on climate change.
“ADB will support its DMCs (developing member countries) to reduce their dependence on coal and eventually phase out coal power generation,” Zhai said in a web post.
He said this would be done by setting standards and requirements such as emission intensities and minimum efficiency levels. At the same time, low-carbon and climate-resilient technologies—including carbon capture and storage—would be introduced.
“The updated policy will provide guidance and screening criteria on the use of fossil fuels to ensure no conflict with the broader international goals to which ADB and its DMCs subscribe,” Zhai said. INQ
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