Biden orders US to stop funding new carbon-intensive projects abroad

US President Joe Biden delivers remarks on infrastructure at the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority in Kansas City, Missouri, United States, December 8, 2021. REUTERS / Jonathan Ernst / File Photo

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WASHINGTON, Dec.10 (Reuters) – The Biden administration has ordered U.S. government agencies to immediately stop funding new carbon-intensive fossil fuel projects overseas and prioritize global collaborations to deploy technologies clean energy, according to US diplomatic cables.

The cables, seen by Reuters, indicate that the U.S. government’s commitments should reflect targets set in an executive order issued earlier this year to end U.S. financial support for coal and carbon-intensive energy projects in the United States. ‘foreigner.

“The policy goal … is to ensure that the vast majority of US international energy commitments promote clean energy, advance innovative technologies, strengthen the competitiveness of US clean technologies, and support clean transitions.” zero, except in the rare cases where there are security, geostrategic or development / access to energy benefits and no viable low carbon alternatives achieve the same goals, ”one cable said.

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The announcement was first reported by Bloomberg.

The policy defines “carbon-intensive” international energy commitments as projects whose greenhouse gas intensity exceeds a life cycle value threshold of 250 grams of carbon dioxide per kilowatt hour and includes the coal, gas or oil.

The policy prohibits any US government funding of overseas coal projects that do not capture or only partially capture carbon emissions, allowing federal agencies to engage in coal production only if the project demonstrates the fully captures emissions or is part of accelerated elimination.

It exempts carbon-intensive projects for two reasons: they are deemed necessary for national security or geostrategic reasons, or they are crucial in providing access to energy to vulnerable areas.

The policy formalizes the objectives set by the administration in decrees and previous political guidelines and reiterated in multilateral forums such as the G7 meeting in France in August and the United Nations climate summit in the fall.

During the United Nations climate talks in Scotland, the Biden administration pledged with 40 countries and five financial institutions to end relentless new international funding for fossil fuel by the end of 2022, except in limited cases.

“The administration has made climate change a fundamental tenet of its foreign policy,” a State Department spokesperson said Friday in response to a request for comment on the cables. The commitment made in Scotland “will redirect tens of billions of dollars of public funding and billions of private funding towards low carbon priorities,” the spokesperson said.

“This policy is full of exemptions and loopholes that lack clarity and could make these restrictions on fossil fuel financing completely meaningless,” said Kate DeAngelis, climate finance expert at Friends of the Earth.

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Reporting by Valerie Volcovici and Timothy Gardner; edited by Jonathan Oatis

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