November 11, 2015

If Australia is serious about climate change, it will support OECD deal to restrict dirty coal finance

CANBERRA: Australia is calling upon the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister to show climate leadership ahead of the UN Paris talks by backing an OECD deal that would see billions of dollars cut to dirty new coal-fired power plants overseas.

Every year, the OECD nations provide around $4 billion to new coal-fired power stations via government-backed export credit agencies. But late last month—after two years of efforts led by President Obama and supported by NGOs —the US and Japan agreed on a plan to restrict this finance. Australia, however, is looking to block the agreement when it gets voted on next week.

“Because the agreement can only be sealed by consensus, Australia could block this deal that has been years in the making, opening the door to dozens of new coal plants at a time when we desperately need to keep fossil fuels in the ground, said Charlie Wood, Campaigns Director.

“With the Paris climate talks only a few weeks away, Australia has a chance to start setting a positive climate agenda. But right now, the economic might of the coal barons seems as powerful in the new government as in the old, with Turnbull pushing the same coal-loving arguments as his predecessor.

“If Australia blocks this deal, it will make us a pariah in Paris.  More to the point, if we succeed in slowing down the transition, we (and everyone else) will pay for that greed with more bushfires and wilting summers, more dying reefs and rising seas.

“It’s crucial that Australia supports the transition to a safe climate future by voting in favour of this important OECD deal to limit finance for dirty coal plants next week,” concluded Wood.

Contact: Charlie Wood 0427 485 233