Rich countries to pay energy giants to build new coal-fired power plants
UN’s Clean Development Mechanism to use European carbon offset credits to subsidise 20 ‘efficient’ coal plants in India and China.
The UN is set to channel billions of pounds of public money from rich countries to giant energy companies to build 20 heavily polluting coal-fired power plants on the basis that they will emit less carbon dioxide than older ones.
Data seen by the Guardian shows that 12 companies have applied to the UN for hundreds of millions of emission reduction credits to subsidise “efficient” coal-fired power stations in China and India. Many of the plants would be paid for with carbon offsets bought by British and European companies in lieu of cutting their own emissions.
If, as expected, the power company applications are approved by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), they will earn around £3.5bn at current carbon market prices. This would make the UN body set up to promote clean energy and reduce global climate emissions one of the world’s largest provider of funds for new coal burning.