New Global Coal Finance Tracker



Ted Nace, CoalSwarm, (510) 331-8743 or [email protected]

Christine Shearer, CoalSwarm, (714) 514-1889 or [email protected]

New Global Coal Finance Tracker Shows Aggressive Push By China, Japan, and South Korea to Build Coal-fired Power Plants in Developing Nations


SAN FRANCISCO, California. – Today CoalSwarm released the Global Coal Finance Tracker, an interactive database which can be used track international flows of financial support for coal projects by public institutions.

Two months after the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recommended a two-thirds cut in coal-fired power generation by 2030, and a near-total phase out by 2050, it is clear that countries are continuing to fund expansion of coal-fired power plants. In fact, China, Japan, and South Korea are leading a global push to increase the number of new coal-fired power plants being built in developing nations.

“Climate change cannot be addressed as long as coal plants continue to be built,
said Ted Nace, Executive Director of CoalSwarm. “The database exposes a dangerous double standard, which is that China, Japan, and South Korea continue to be the largest sources of public funding for overseas coal plants, even as they transition their own economies away from coal.”

Why track public financing of coal? Despite public commitments to transition to cleaner sources of domestic energy, many countries continue to fund coal-fired plants overseas. In the past ten years three countries (China, Japan, and South Korea) have financed the bulk of new publicly-funded coal-fired power capacity.

Key findings:

  • China’s public financial institutions have financed at least 26 GW of coal plants overseas, and may finance at least 42 GW in the future.
  • Japan’s public financial institutions have financed at least 19 GW of coal plants overseas, and may finance at least 11 GW in the future.
  • South Korea’s public financial institutions have financed at least 8 GW of coal plants overseas, and many finance at least 9 GW more in the future.

The Global Coal Finance Tracker is a tool to promote greater transparency of taxpayer-funded coal projects and of the companies profiting from those projects. It is also a tool to help the public hold coal funders accountable for the impact of these projects on human health and the environment.

Note: A typical coal-fired generating unit ranges from 0.5 to 1.0 GW in size. Most power plant complexes include at least two generating units.


About CoalSwarm

CoalSwarm is a network of researchers seeking to develop collaborative informational resources on coal impacts and alternatives. Current projects include identifying and mapping proposed and existing coal projects worldwide, including plants, mines, and infrastructure. For more information, visit

About the Global Coal Finance Tracker

CoalSwarm’s Global Coal Finance Tracker reveals the financial support for coal plant projects globally. The tracker currently includes only foreign flows of financing for coal that come from public finance institutions such as export credit agencies and development banks. The data covers all projects under development since 2013, including currently proposed projects, which have received or are likely to receive public finance. For more information, visit