Korea is the world’s second-largest financier of coal through export credit agencies, and together with leader Japan, their combined support substantially benefit coal projects in Australia, the Guardian of the U.K. said Tuesday.
Japan financed more than US$20 billion and Korea US$7 billion, per data from World Wildlife Federation, Oil Change International and the Natural Resource Defense Council. More than US$73 billion in international public finance went to coal between 2007 and 2014, and WWF said the money “moved through largely unknown and opaque institutions.”
The report said WWF has accused the three countries of trying to stifle talks that could cut global coal finance from state-owned export credit agencies, which fund or underwrite projects abroad that their domestic companies are involved in.
The export credit group of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) next week will hold a meeting in Paris on halting export finance for coal.
Sebastien Godinot, an economist for WWF-Europe, warned that the talks could achieve little progress due to opposition from Australia, Japan and Korea, saying “Their intention is clearly to buy time or to block any substantial progress.”