Chinese institutions lent $36 billion for coal power stations outside the country in 2018, according to a new report seen by the Financial Times, acting at odds with the government’s domestic push towards cleaner energy.
The report, published by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis in the US, revealed that the funds accounted for 26% of the new coal-fired capacity installed worldwide last year, mainly in emerging markets with fewer clean alternatives and less public demand to invest in green policies.
Coal, considered one of the dirtiest fossil fuels, has been increasingly rejected by international development banks in line with their stances on social responsibility. China, meanwhile, has become the top lender for coal projects, while spending billions of dollars back home to foster clean energy industries such as electric vehicles.
“We’re at a juncture where the rest of the world has shifted to renewable energy investments, but we’re seeing a whole set of legacy patterns for coal – patterns of the last generation – are being clung to and subsidised by Chinese institutions,” said Melissa Brown, who co-authored the report.