The US is ending financing the majority of overseas coal projects, reducing the dirtiest carbon emissions, blamed as the number one global warming driver.
The decision actions US President Barack Obama’s June speech directed at following a climate friendly policy. Supported by the World Bank, where the US holds sway, the country is aiming to decrease the influence of climate change drivers.
This plan involves the withdrawal of the US government’s support for the construction of power plants abroad, financed by the World Bank and other international development banks. Exceptions may be made for desperately poor countries, which don’t have access to alternative energy sources or to plants that involve new carbon-capture measures, the NY Times reports.
It’s an “important step" in supporting cleaner energy, Lael Brainard, the Treasury undersecretary for international affairs said. “By encouraging the use of clean energy in multilateral development bank projects, we are furthering US efforts to address the urgent challenges of climate change”
The effort is primarily made to limit a 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial level lift, in order to cool global warming.
The World Coal Association estimates there are 2,300 coal power plants worldwide, with 620 in China alone. Economists forecast inevitable job cuts and rising electricity bills if coal plants decrease. Major economies including India, United States and China are already facing political pressures.