11 Aug 2008 05:08:19
Coal financiers face boycott
While climate campaigners besieged energy giant E.on's Kingsnorth plant last week, others have promised a boycott of high street banks that fund coal-fired power plants.
A coalition of environmental groups called for action against banks such as the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), which helped find an estimated £8 billion for firms using coal over the past two years.
Duncan McLaren, chief executive of Friends of the Earth said: "Coal is the dirtiest and most inefficient fossil fuel there is."
He added: "RBS is providing the financial means for companies to build unabated coal-fired power stations and dig new coal mines all over the world, yet still refuses to disclose full information on the fossil fuel projects it helps finance or to take any responsibility for the emissions that result."
But energy minister Malcolm Wicks defended the use of coal, claiming that unless clean coal technology could be developed "all is lost on global warming".
In an interview with the Guardian Mr Wicks claimed that if the UK developed carbon capture storage (CCS) technology, on which approval for E.on's coal-powered plant at Kingsnorth is said to be conditional, in would help reduce emissions worldwide as the technology is exported to other countries.
He said: "Once we can develop those technologies, we can help the Chinese, the Indians and others to retrofit power stations and make CCS a component of new coal-fired power stations."