Josh Fieldstone

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Since the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change came into effect in 1994, international financial institutions have provided more than $37 billion in direct financial support for at least 88 new and expanded coal plants. Although the United States has stated that it wants to deter international financial institutions from subsidizing coal, it supports its vast domestic coal subsidies. So long as these subsidies remain, the United States should refrain from opposing international coal subsidies in order to maintain its credibility. The United States faces the following dilemma: it could either actively oppose domestic and international coal subsidies even though the subsidies are in its short-term energy interest, or it could continue supporting coal subsidies despite coal’s long-term damaging effect on the environment and human health.