Carbon dump continues

While U.S. President Donald Trump has ordered the Dept. of Energy to “prepare immediate steps” to stop the closing of dirty and unprofitable coal plants, the global trend continues to move away from fossil fuels. At the end of May, the 300-year-old Royal Bank of Scotland announced new funding policies that cut off loans for new coal mines, coal-fired power plants, oil sands projects, and Arctic oil drilling projects. At the same time, the bank committed £10 billion to finance sustainable energy projects through 2020, noting that 80 percent of its energy project financing in 2017 flowed to renewables. The Bank has also reduced, from 65 percent to 40 percent, the amount of coal that client utility companies can burn, if they can qualify for new funding, based on the amount of revenue that client mining companies draw from current coal operations. Even in the U.S., despite President Trump’s pledge to revive the coal industry, about 25 coal plants have shut down during his brief tenure in office, due to competition from natural gas, wind and solar power sources.

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