Barack Obama's 2013 Climate Action Plan and Coal

From Global Energy Monitor

On June 25, 2013 President Barack Obama unveiled his Climate Action Plan.[1] Of the provisions relating to coal, the most significant at a global level are the moves to end public financing of new coal plants overseas though with some qualifications.

Key elements of the plan relating to coal

Key elements in the plan directly relating to coal are:

  • page 6: "Cutting Carbon Pollution from Power Plants: ....President Obama is issuing a Presidential Memorandum directing the Environmental Protection Agency to work expeditiously to complete carbon pollution standards for both new and existing power plants. "
  • Page 7: "To continue America’s leadership in clean energy innovation, the Administration will also take the following steps:
  • Spurring Investment in Advanced Fossil Energy Projects: In the coming weeks, the Department of Energy will issue a Federal Register Notice announcing a draft of a solicitation that would make up to $8 billion in (self-pay) loan guarantee authority available for a wide array of advanced fossil energy projects under its Section 1703 loan guarantee program. This solicitation is designed to support investments in innovative technologies that can cost-effectively meet financial and policy goals, including the avoidance, reduction, or sequestration of anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases. The proposed solicitation will cover a broad range of advanced fossil energy projects. Reflecting the Department’s commitment to continuous improvement in program management, it will take comment on the draft solicitation, with a plan to issue a final solicitation by the fall of 2013."
  • page 19 (In the Natural Gas section promoting the expansion of gas production):"Going forward, we will promote fuel-switching from coal to gas for electricity production and encourage the development of a global market for gas. "
  • page 19: "Clean Coal. The United States works with China, India, and other countries that currently rely heavily on coal for power generation to advance the development and deployment of clean coal technologies. In addition, the U.S. leads the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum, which engages 23 other countries and economies on carbon capture and sequestration technologies. Going forward, we will continue to use these bilateral and multilateral efforts to promote clean coal technologies."
  • page 20: "the President calls for an end to U.S. government support for public financing of new coal plants overseas, except for (a) the most efficient coal technology available in the world’s poorest countries in cases where no other economically feasible alternative exists, or (b) facilities deploying carbon capture and sequestration technologies. As part of this new commitment, we will work actively to secure the agreement of other countries and the multilateral development banks to adopt similar policies as soon as possible."

Articles and resources


  1. President Barack Obama, The President's Climate Action Plan, June 2013.

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