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Climate Change News:

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will end all financing for coal mining and power plants and ban support for oil and gas production, under a draft energy policy released on Friday.

The Philippines-based bank said there had been “profound changes in the energy landscape” since it last updated its energy policy in 2009 and that the document “is no longer adequately aligned with the global consensus on climate change”.

By supporting coal exit across Asia, ADB said it would “support new job creation in cooperation with local communities and stakeholders”.

The draft policy is the latest in a series of shifts away from coal in Asia’s major economies. Last month, China committed to peaking its coal consumption by 2025 before gradually reducing its coal reliance. South Korea pledged to end overseas financing for coal-fired power plants. Japan cancelled the last coal plant in its pre-construction pipeline.

Tim Buckley, director of energy finance studies at the Institute for Energy Economics and Finance Analysis (Ieefa), told Climate Home News the policy was a welcome “step in the right direction” following “a phenomenal momentum” towards accelerating  the energy transition across Asia in recent months.

“The greater Asia region is moving at a million miles an hour,” he said.

Buckley said rapid shifts towards clean energy were taking place in countries like Vietnam at a pace unforeseen even a year ago. In 2020, installed solar rooftop capacity increased 25-fold in Vietnam, compared with a year earlier, with 9.3GW of peak solar capacity connected to the national power system. In contrast, only 1.2GW of coal power was added to the grid in 2020. 

[Chloé Farand]

More: Asian Development Bank plans exit from coal finance

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