South Korea proposes ban on overseas coal financing

A coal-fired power plant. After Japan and China, South Korea has been the largest public financier of coal globally. Image: ShutterOK via Shutterstock South Korean lawmakers proposed a set of legislative bills on Tuesday (28 July) that would put an end to the nation’s controversial public support for coal-fired power projects beyond its borders. They cited plummeting clean energy costs in recipient nations, financial and reputational risks linked to coal ventures, and the urgent need to tackle the climate crisis. The four draft bills seek to prohibit the East Asian country’s largest government-owned utility firm and financial institutions from funnelling taxpayers’ money into coal projects, realising a key tenet of the Green New Deal pledge made by President Moon Jae-in’s Democratic Party of Korea in the run-up to the parliamentary election in April. More than spurring South Korea’s post-pandemic economic recovery, the sweeping policy package aims to foster sustainable growth and put the nation—the world’s seventh-largest greenhouse gas emitter—on a low-carbon development path. But since the ruling party’s landslide victory, the question just how far the Green New Deal should go has become a hot button issue , with its details still a battleground. To continue reading this story […]

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