Coal Association Expects Fledgling AIIB to Support Projects

(Bloomberg) — The World Coal Association’s chief executive
expects the fledgling Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to
support coal projects once the China-backed development bank
begins lending.

Such a decision would help Chinese companies eager to
export their coal plant technology, Benjamin Sporton said in an
interview Tuesday in Tokyo where he was attending a coal
technology conference. The World Coal Association, based in
London, is an international industry group counting Rio Tinto
PLC and Glencore PLC among its members.

The AIIB is likely to have a “policy fairly supportive of
coal technology,” Sporton said

His comments come as some multilateral development banks
began limiting public financing for coal in recent years amid
increasing calls to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to tackle
climate change. Such institutions include the World Bank Group
and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Some 1,199 new coal-fired plants are being proposed with a
total capacity of 1,400 gigawatts, many in India and China,
according to estimates by the World Resources Institute released
in 2012.

International public financing helps developing countries
build coal plants with higher efficiency and lower emissions,
Sporton said.

“With environmental groups who are saying ‘get out of
coal,’ what they are actually risking is worse coal technology
being built,” he said.

China is creating the AIIB to finance infrastructure
projects. It aims to start funding projects in early 2016, Jin
Liqun, the president-designate of the bank, said in Seoul on
Wednesday. The lender’s membership will increase to 70 soon, Jin
said. 

To contact the reporters on this story:
Chisaki Watanabe in Tokyo at
cwatanabe5@bloomberg.net;
Emi Urabe in Tokyo at
eurabe@bloomberg.net;
Stephen Stapczynski in Tokyo at
sstapczynsk1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Reed Landberg at
landberg@bloomberg.net
Iain Wilson, Abhay Singh

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