ADB not yet ready to quit coal

(Eco Business, 19 Jun 2019) At the Asia Clean Energy Forum in Manila yesterday, Asian Development Bank president Takehiko Nakao said it could not rule out funding coal power as there is ‘no other option’ for some countries in Asia. Protesters outside the event called on ADB to draw up a time-bound phase-out plan for coal financing.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has plans to stop funding coal-fired power plants—except in selected countries where the bank considers the alternatives to be limited.

“I don’t know whether we will totally dismiss the possibility of coal projects, because in some countries there’s no access to other options,” the development bank’s president Takehiko Nakao said at ADB’s week-long Asia Clean Energy Forum in Manila yesterday.

Nakao’s comments came in response to a question from the audience on whether the bank would set a date for when it would stop funding coal, which is the single biggest contributor to man-made greenhouse gas emissions. 

Nine months ago, ADB said that there would be no place for “dirty energy” in its new climate finance strategy.

Unveiled in July last year, ADB’s updated climate strategy promises up to US$80 billion in climate adaptation and mitigation spending primarily to support renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, and highlights the bank’s shift of focus from poverty reduction to creating climate resilient and inclusive growth for the region. 

ADB’s current energy policy, released in 2009, prioritises energy security and poverty reduction even if this means tapping coal and natural gas-based power generation.

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Eco Business, 19 Jun 2019: ADB not yet ready to quit coal