Fossil fuel exclusion policies

Share
Paris alignmentReasoning
UnalignedKDB has some coal exclusions but no oil or gas exclusions. There are examples of KDB loans for coal, oil extraction and gas projects.
 Alignment and reasoning
Coal policiesKDB, as part of the International Development Finance club has committed to end international finance for “new unabated coal power generation”. It is unclear whether this will include associated infrastructure, such as mining.
Upstream oil and gas policiesNo upstream oil and gas exclusion.
Downstream oil and gas policies No downstream oil and gas exclusion.
Supply-side energy efficiency The KDB Sustainability Bond Framework sets a threshold of <100gCO2/kWh for geothermal power.

Explanation

At the domestic level, the Korean government  has stopped issuing permits for new domestic coal power plants. In April 2021, the Korean government announced  a comprehensive ban of international coal finance.

A press release issued at COP26 by the International Development Finance Club (KDB is a member) states that it “commits to end international public finance for new unabated coal power generation, implementing the decision made by the G20 Leaders in Rome”. KDB has also stated that there will therefore be no new financing for domestic coal-fired power generation. It is unclear whether this will include associated infrastructure, such as mining. 

It would appear that as part of the KDB’s commitment to the Equator Principles, the bank has adopted the 2008 IFC Environment, Health and Safety Guidelines within its processes. However, the IFC guidelines are more than 10 years out of date (more recent updated versions exist) and therefore do not reflect the best available technologies in this area.

This should not discard the fact that KDB has a considerable investment portfolio of coal projects. There are examples of KDB funding for coal power plants in Indonesia. KDB has also been criticized for supporting a $2 billion relief package for the coal plant manufacturer Doosan Heavy Industries in 2020. 

Like JICA, the KDB follows the OECD’s guidelines or ‘sector arrangement’ on export credits as regards coal financing This means that it will not provide officially supported export credits or tied aid for the export of new coal-fired electricity generation plants or parts. This is despite KDB not being an Export Credit Agency.

There are examples in the public domain of KDB support for oil extraction and gas projects.

Energy Efficiency in Power Generation

The Sustainability Bond Framework sets out a threshold of maximum 100gCO2/kWh for energy investments as emission performance standard. The framework excludes all fossil fuels (coal, gas and petroleum).

Recommendation: KDB should put in place a fossil fuel exclusion that comprehensively affects coal, oil and gas projects.

Last Update: November 2021