A European Commission policy paper has stated that export credits, or preferential loans to help cover exports costs, should be continued for the most modern coal plant technology.
“It has to be recognised that at a global level, coal as an important source of energy production is not going to disappear immediately,” says the paper prepared by officials from the EC trade department and circulated among representatives of EU member states.
“The EU delegation would consider it logical to try to see how the OECD export credit community can create incentives to ensure that this continued use of coal as an energy source is at least done in the most climate-friendly way possible,” it said, referring to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
In an April briefing paper on coal finance, the World Wildlife Fund conservation group said countries around the world provided €5.1bn over the period 2007-2013 for developing coal overseas.
Of this, export credit preferential loans accounted for some €3.6bn, with Germany, followed by France, being the biggest providers in Europe.
Alstom of France, one of the EU makers of equipment for coal-fired power plants, said there was no contradiction with EU environmental ambitions.