Hold the applause on UK no-coal finance announcement

(Guardian, 20 November 2013, Warsaw) British taxpayers' money will no longer be used to build coal-fired power stations in developing countries, the energy secretary Ed Davey pledged November 20th, as the fortnight-long United Nations climate talks in Poland entered their final phase. The UK has provided about $500m (£300m) for such projects in the past seven years, mostly through its funding for development banks, according to research by the US Natural Resources Defence Council. Ending that is meant to encourage countries to move to low-carbon energy. However critics have said 'hold the applause", noting that, contrary to Ed Davey's announcement, British taxpayer's money can still be used to fund coal power stations because the new policy explicitly excludes UK Export Finance, the main part of the UK government which backs loans to other countries. It is like pledging not to eat sugary food, but exempting chocolate.