Developing Countries: Coal

Department for International Development written question – answered at on 23 January 2020.

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Photo of Dan Carden Dan Carden Shadow Secretary of State for International Development

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, which (a) coal-mining projects and (b) countries will be affected by the policy announced on 20 January 2020 by the Prime Minister that all UK aid-funded support for coal-mining and coal-fuelled power stations in developing countries will cease.

Photo of Andrew Murrison Andrew Murrison Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

The UK is one of the first countries to commit to ending unabated coal generation. We have cut emissions by more than 40 per cent since 1990, while our economy has grown by two thirds. In May, the UK went without running coal power generation for over two weeks – the longest coal-free period in the country since the 1880s.

The UK and Canada are leading on initiatives to help countries build commitments to move away from unabated coal, such as the Powering Past Coal Alliance which now has 97 members, with growing membership from financial institutions.

In the Multilateral Development Banks (MDB) we do not support coal projects expect in rare circumstances and only for the poorest countries where there is no economical alternative. The Prime Minister’s announcement means DFID Ministers will now review all coal and other fossil fuel projects that are presented to the Boards of the MDBs and make a decision on each case.

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