EDC is moving away from coal

EDC délaisse le charbon

Photo: Jeff McIntosh, The canadian Press
In the course of the next year, the agency will work to develop a comprehensive assessment of the carbon emissions of its investments.

The Bank of export development Canada withdrew completely from the coal sector, but will continue to fund the oil and gas sector as the world completes its transition to cleaner energy sources. Under the new policy on climate change and Export development Canada (EDC), the agency that assists the country’s enterprises to develop the international will no longer offer any funding for projects related to thermal coal. The agency has reduced its support to projects of thermal coal in 2017 on the view of the Organization of economic cooperation and development. It has, however, continued to fund some projects in developing countries, arguing that the coal was sometimes the way the least expensive and most efficient way to produce electricity in countries that desperately need them.

Consultations

The new policy was developed following consultations with clients, board members, employees and certain outside groups, including lobbyists in the sector of the environment. A large part of the advice recommended to harmonize the work of the EDC with the policies of the federal government, including Canada’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the framework of the Paris agreement on climate change and its partnership with the United Kingdom to try to abandon the world of energy in the coal.

The alliance’s ” beyond coal commits developed countries to eliminate coal as a source of energy by 2030 and to help the rest of the world to do so by 2050.

The new policy of EDC will always invest in the oil and natural gas, an industry that accounted for one-fifth of canadian exports in 2017 and one-tenth of exports and international investments to which EDC contributes. The policy specifies that, even if the transition to an economy with lower carbon content is in progress, ” a responsible use and effective, fossil fuels will continue to be a part of this transition “. In the course of the next year, the agency will work to develop a comprehensive assessment of the carbon emissions of its investments, and will set goals in 2020 to reduce the carbon intensity of its entire portfolio.

In November, a report by the pressure group Oil Change International showed that between 2012 and 2017, EDC had provided financial support of 62 billion to oil and gas companies, more than 12 times the $ 5 billion offered in the clean technology sector. The report recommended that EDC no longer fund the oil and natural gas as of 2020.

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