The Biden administration has ordered US government agencies to immediately stop financing new carbon-intensive fossil fuel projects overseas and prioritize global collaborations to deploy clean energy technology, according to US diplomatic cables.
The cables say US government engagements should reflect the goals set in an executive order issued at the start of the year aimed at ending American financial support of coal and carbon-intensive energy projects overseas.
"The goal of the policy ... is to ensure that the vast majority of US international energy engagements promote clean energy, advance innovative technologies, boost US cleantech competitiveness, and support net-zero transitions, except in rare cases where there are compelling national security, geostrategic, or development/energy access benefits and no viable lower carbon alternatives accomplish the same goals," a cable said.
The policy defines "carbon-intensive” international energy engagements as projects whose greenhouse gas intensity is above a threshold lifecycle value of 250 grams of carbon dioxide per kilowatt-hour and includes coal, gas or oil.
The policy bans any US government financing of overseas coal projects that do not capture or only partially capture carbon emissions, allowing federal agencies to engage on coal generation only if the project demonstrates full emissions capture or is part of an accelerated phaseout.