Renewables MMI®: Obama Anti-Coal Lending Campaign Stalls Out of the Gate

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A year ago, President Barack Obama sought to mobilize the nation behind a grand plan: fight climate change by slashing carbon pollution at home, while prodding other countries to follow.

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A key part of that strategy was for the United States to stop using public money to finance the construction of most coal-fired power plants abroad, seen as one of the main causes of rising pollution from heat-trapping gases.

But a year later, momentum has stalled on the Obama administration’s plan for a global “domino effect” that would choke off financing for coal projects from public lending institutions around the world. Some key lenders continue to finance coal projects, and the US Export-Import Bank has put its ban on hold.

Reuters reports that in the past year, Japan has approved funding for three major coal plants in energy-thirsty emerging markets. And Germany, typically a leader in global climate action, continues to support coal projects.

Observers say a new development bank from the BRICS group of emerging markets – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – is also unlikely to follow strict coal limits when it launches in two years.

A 0.9 percent decline in US steel plate made it the biggest mover of the week, closing at $863.00 per short ton on the weekly Renewables MMI®. At KRW 900,000 ($873.58) per metric ton, the price of Korean steel plate did not change since the previous week. Prices for Japanese steel plate remained constant, closing the week at JPY 76,000 ($740.53) per metric ton.

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Chinese renewables prices were flat for the week. Closing at CNY 231,000 ($37,598) per metric ton, Chinese cobalt cathodes remained unchanged for the week. Silicon prices held steady from the previous week at CNY 13,900 ($2,262) per metric ton. Neodymium remained essentially flat from the previous week at CNY 390,000 ($63,476) per metric ton. Following a steady week, prices for Chinese steel plate closed flat at CNY 3,590 ($584.31) per metric ton.

US grain-oriented electrical steel (GOES) continues hovering around $2,881 per metric ton for the fifth day in a row.

The Renewables MMI® collects and weights 8 metal price points used extensively within the renewable energy industry to provide a unique view into renewable energy metal price trends. For more information on the Renewables MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.

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