Power Shift: Shifting G20 International Public Finance from Coal to Renewables

December 03, 2017

One year after the Paris Agreement entered into force, are countries really shifting their financial flows to be consistent with a low-greenhouse-gas-emissions future? Our report Power Shift: Shifting G20 International Public Finance from Coal to Renewables indicates that countries are still financing more coal than renewables projects abroad. Some progress has been made in shifting flows away from dirty energy like coal and into clean energy projects like solar and wind, but more needs to be done.

G20 nations, and the multilateral development banks in which they play a key role, financed $38 billion USD in coal projects abroad but only $25 billion in renewables projects between 2013 and 2016. Unfortunately, there’s a pipeline for over $28 billion USD in future coal projects compared to only $14 billion USD for future renewables projects that G20 nations are financing beyond their borders. Given the falling costs of renewable energy and the dire health and environmental impacts associated with coal, governments should not be using their funds to invest in more coal projects abroad. The Paris Agreement called on nations to support a low-carbon future. G20 financial institutions could lead the clean energy transition, but not all of them have made that commitment.