At least 19 countries, including major emitters the US and Canada, on Thursday pledged to end all unabated overseas fossil fuel projects by the end of 2022.
“Investing in unabated fossil-related energy projects increasingly entails both social and economic risks,” said a joint statement of signatories, released at the COP26 climate summit.
But major overseas funders of fossil fuel projects, China, Japan and South Korea, were not among the list of nations on the statement.
Announcing the initiative, which is the first of its kind to preclude new overseas oil and gas projects, Britain’s business minister Greg Hands said: “We must put public finance on the right side of history.”
“Ending international funding for all unabated fossil fuels is the next critical frontier we must deliver on if we are to keep 1.5C within reach,” he said, referring to the most ambitious Paris Agreement climate goal.
Unabated fossil fuel projects are those that do not deploy technology to absorb the carbon pollution they produce.