A midsized, 11-year-old coal power station in West Java is an unlikely bellwether for global climate finance.

Cirebon-1 helps keep the lights on and factories whirring in the port city it is named after, a few hours’ drive east of Jakarta. Like much of the coal fleet that generates some 60% of Indonesia’s electricity, the plant is young, built with the help of Korean and Japanese capital during the coal boom of the 2000s and 2010s. Now it is set to close early, sparing the planet millions of tons of carbon dioxide — and becoming a beacon for the energy transition.

If, that is, a credible deal can be struck between the plant’s current investors and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which is spearheading the program, plus others including large private sector lenders like HSBC Holdings. whose participation would make the deal a model for others to follow. Months of negotiations have demonstrated how hard it is in practice to persuade financial heavyweights to back the early retirement of coal — despite optimistic corporate pronouncements.