Cliffside Coal Plant: An Example of What NOT to Fund

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Duke Energy's Cliffside Coal plantCliffside is a small town in southern North Carolina with a huge coal plant owned by utility giant Duke Energy at its center. Activists from around the southeast have organized and rallied and protested since a major expansion of the plant began in 2008. Unfortunately, despite the good work of climate activists to stop construction, the plant is expected to be operational in 2012.

In 2008, when controversy surrounding the Cliffside coal plant was at its height, six major banks developed and adopted a mechanism for addressing banks’ roles in financing high-carbon-emitting industrial projects. Deemed the Carbon Principles, environmentalists welcomed this bank-led commitment as a  means of accountability for financing high-carbon projects like new coal-fired power plants. We hoped that banks adopting the  Carbon Principles meant that they were getting serious about their role in financing global warming.

RAN’s new Carbon Principles report makes clear that we were too optimistic. Duke’s Cliffside plant serves as an example of exactly the kind of project that the banks should have been moving away from. Instead of taking the Carbon Principles seriously, however, five of the six Carbon Principles banks — Citi, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and Wells Fargo — provided nearly $1 billion in financing to Duke Energy in 2 different bond offerings, both of which were within a year and a half of the adoption of the Carbon Principles by those banks.This dirty coal plant bankrolled by Wall St.

Yesterday, I traveled with climate justice activists from Charlotte, North Carolina who worked to stop the Cliffside’s expansion to visit the plant. We held a banner in front of the plant to draw attention to the need for banks to develop meaningful climate policies that push them to stop investments in dirty coal and instead invest in the renewable energy of the future.

Its time that banks get the message and make real commitments to stop bankrolling plants like Cliffside that will spew global warming gasses into the atmosphere for decades to come.

Take action and demand that the Carbon Principles banks stop funding coal plants!

2 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Mick says:

    Shut them all down. Stop the use of coal all together. Replacing 50% of the grid will be quick and simple. All the government needs to do is significantly raise our taxes and spend hundreds of billions in subsidies to cover our lanscape with solar facilities constructed of Chinese built components. Then borrow billions more from the Chinese to put South-American made windmills on every hillside, rise and ridge in America. Create a new “beach view preservation service fee” and use the proceeds to line the Nantucket and Malibu horizons with tidal generating platforms. Maybe that last idea won’t fly, so I guess we will have to put hampsters on generating wheels and limit everyone to 12 hours of electricity daily… It’s such a small sacrafice. Of course the rainforests might miss all that CO2 in the air…

  2. Valent says:

    A key outlook is that cbraon won’t simply be an economic concern, but a major opportunity. This is mostly a matter of perspective. Every company that complains that cbraon compliance will cost them money as new business for the innovative company that is selling them the new technology. Browne also makes a great point about energy security. Peak Oil is still highly debatable, but Resource Concentration is obvious, driving both security concerns and the ever-growing collaborative networks.

Trackbacks For This Post

  1. The Understory » Putting Wall Street on Notice
  2. Putting Wall Street on Notice | My Nice Planet
  3. Bank of America’s Climate Commitment Ignores the Big Picture » Rainforest Action Network Blog
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