French Prime Minster Manuel Valls has confirmed that France will withdraw its support for coal-fired power plants abroad, although it has not yet confirmed when it will cease export credits.

“France will do everything it can to reach an agreement at the COP 21, which will be held in Paris in December 2015. We will be adapting our export aid in order to set a good example,” Mr Valls said during the presentation of the government’s environmental roadmap for 2015, ahead of the Paris Climate Conference
Manuel Valls
Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, Segolene Royal said that the conditions and the timetable for the withdrawal of this support for coal-fired power plants would be specified “very soon” and in consultation with the businesses that may be affected.

The measure will be written into the energy transition for green growth bill, now up for examination in the French Senate.

While coal accounts for only a small part of the French energy mix, the country still subsidises coal energy abroad through public guarantees from the French export credit agency, Coface.

The agency has guaranteed over EUR 1.2 billion of coal projects since 2011, and was the fifth largest subsidiser of coal energy exports from the OECD between 2007 and 2013.

Mr Valls also previously stated that funding would only be considered for coal power plants in developing countries where CO2 capture and storage systems (CCS)were in place.

However carbon capture and storage technology has had recent setbacks, with some doubt as to its commercial viability.