Asian Development Bank no longer to support coal

(China Dialogue, 8 Jun 2021) The ADB’s draft energy policy unequivocally rejects coal finance, but leaves door ajar for gas projects.

On 7 May, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) issued a revamped energy policy for consultation – the policy’s first overhaul since 2009.

A decade is a long time in the energy world. Between 2010 and 2019, large-scale solar power generation costs dropped 80% (to US$0.068/kWh) and onshore wind dropped 60% (to $0.053/kWh). Both now undercut the levelised (lifetime) costs of new coal and gas.

The 2015 Paris Agreement has led many of ADB’s member countries to adopt carbon targets – and some, like China, net-zero targets. The International Energy Agency (IEA), usually bullish about the prospects for fossil fuels, now agrees a net-zero world should cease investing in new unabated fossil fuel. The IEA model’s new Net-zero by 2050 scenario calculates an annual global investment need of $3.5 trillion – much of it in the fast-growing Asian economies.

The IEA’s stated-policies scenario projects that between 2019 and 2030 primary energy demand in China, India and Southeast Asia will grow by 620 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe), from its current 3,300 Mtoe. This rate of growth is twice that of other developing regions, Africa, the Middle East and South and Central America, combined.

External link

China Dialogue, 8 Jun 2021: Asian Development Bank no longer to support coal