Ex-Im Bank Halts U.S. Funding Review for Vietnam Coal Plant

(Bloomberg, Washington, 18 July 2013) The U.S. Export-Import Bank voted to stop consideration of financing for a coal power plant in Vietnam, the first such decision since President Barack Obama vowed to cut federal support for the projects... “By denying taxpayer backed financing for this dirty coal project, the Export-Import Bank put the action in the President’s Climate Action Plan,” said Doug Norlen, policy director of Pacific Environment, which is fighting these kinds of fossil-fuel projects. Until now, Obama’s push to double exports of U.S. goods and services had undercut his goal of reducing the greenhouse gases linked to climate change, as the government-backed lender expanded financing that, by its own accounting, added to greenhouse-gas emissions. As part of a “Climate Action Plan” released June 25th, Obama called for ending U.S. support of foreign coal-fired power plants, unless they are in the poorest nations or have expensive carbon-capture technology. Obama’s coal pledge also comes at a time when the World Bank is mulling a proposal to limit its lending for coal projects in developing countries.