Biden’s Latest Act to Cripple Coal

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( – At a moment when America is facing an increasing energy-security crisis, the Biden administration is poised to endorse a plan that could significantly impact the coal industry during an upcoming United Nations (UN) climate summit.

This strategy, first reported by Reuters, involves backing a French proposal at the COP28 conference to prohibit private funding for coal-fired power plants globally. The plan is anticipated to cause a divide between countries pushing for a green agenda, like the U.S. and France, and coal-dependent nations, such as China and India, who rely on coal for economical and reliable electricity.

This proposal would enable the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to establish coal standards for private financing firms. Such measures would facilitate tracking of coal financing by regulators, rating agencies, and non-governmental organizations, as reported by Reuters.

The U.S., alongside the European Union (EU) and Canada, has been formulating a strategy to phase out coal, which they regard as a primary obstacle in achieving global climate goals. According to Reuters, coal powers approximately 73% of India’s electricity demand. Meanwhile, in 2022, China approved an average of two new coal plants each week, as per findings from the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air.

Dan Kish, a senior research fellow at the Institute for Energy Research, highlighted the disparity in coal reliance, stating, “France has no coal, so their position banning it is easy. The U.S., on the other hand, has the largest coal reserves—by far—in the world.”

He further criticized the plan’s potential global impact, asserting, “All this does is make the rest of the world that is trying to get affordable electricity for their people align themselves with China and against the U.S. Uncle Sam is once again made to look like a Dunce under Joe Biden.”

India is expected to resist the proposal or any other initiative imposing a deadline for fossil fuel phase-out. Reuters reports that Indian delegates might urge developed nations like the U.S. and France to aim for carbon negativity rather than mere neutrality by 2050.

COP28 will also address the formation of a “loss and damages” fund, essentially a climate reparations program. Responding to calls from activists and poorer countries for substantial contributions, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry indicated the U.S. would contribute “millions” to the fund.

As the world’s top emitter yet classified as a developing country, China is not expected to have significant obligations to this fund. COP28 is scheduled from Nov. 30 to Dec. 12.