Coal-power backers face boycott

Financiers of coal-fired power plants face a boycott by climate change campaigners.

A coalition of environmental groups has hit out at the high street banks who have helped firms that use coal find up to £8 billion in funding over the past two years.

"Coal is the dirtiest and most inefficient fossil fuel there is," said Friends of the Earth chief executive Duncan McLaren.

"RBS is providing the financial means for companies to build unabated coal-fired power stations and dig new coal mines all over the world, yet still refuses to disclose full information on the fossil fuel projects it helps finance or to take any responsibility for the emissions that result."

The call came as campaigners confronted police at a demonstration in Kent where they were protesting plans to build a coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth to replace an existing one which will be going offline.

Energy minister Malcolm Wicks defended plans to approve a new plant on the site, saying that unless clean coal technology was developed "all is lost on global warming".

He claimed that developing carbon capture and storage in the UK would allow the country to export the technology to other massive global coal users.

He said: "Once we can develop those technologies, we can help the Chinese, the Indians and others to retrofit power stations and make CCS a component of new coal-fired power stations."

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