Last month we celebrated Britain’s plan to phase out coal power over by 2025, a landmark decision for cleaner energy and cleaner air. Actually burning coal in our power stations is not the only way that we prop up the age of coal however. Another big one is through funding for coal mining projects and new coal power stations. And unfortunately, British banks have a pretty dirty record. Here’s a map of the biggest banks still funding coal, taken from FoE and Heinrich Boll Foundation’s Coal Atlas:
Another way that we support coal is through export credit. If a British company gets a big contract to build a coal power station, for example, they may get export credit support to help them reduce the risk. Between 2012 and 2014 Britain disbursed £1.7 billion in loans to fossil fuel projects of one kind or another, including coal.
Deciding to call time on our own coal power plants is one step towards ending our involvement in coal. Ending export credit support is another, and Christian Aid have campaigned on this recently. Trickier still is to get our banks to stop funding coal around the world, both power station construction and mining. If you have an account with one of those banks mentioned, move your money and tell them why. You can also use the CoalBanks website to call them to change their policy.