The Dernogalizer

September 16, 2009

World Bank calls for Climate Action, Funds Coal?

Filed under: Energy/Climate — Matt Dernoga @ 5:32 pm
Tags: , ,

Great article by Ben Webster of The Times Online exposing how the World Bank is financing coal plants despite saying the world must reduce dependence on fossil fuels.  Notable excerpts below.

The World Bank is spending billions of pounds subsidising new coal-fired power stations in developing countries despite claiming that burning fossil fuels exposes the poor to catastrophic climate change. The bank, which has a goal of reducing poverty and is funded by Britain and other developed countries, calls on all nations in a report today to “act differently on climate change”.”

“The report says that between 75 and 80 per cent of the damage caused by climate change through drought, floods and rising sea levels will happen in developing countries. It calls on richer nations, including Britain, to increase the amount that they spend on helping developing countries to adapt to climate change.”

“The report says that unless the world acts now to cut carbon dioxide emissions it faces a 5C (9F) rise in global temperatures by the end of the century. “Such a drastic temperature shift would cause the possible dieback of the Amazon rainforest, complete loss of glaciers in the Andes and Himalayas, and rapid ocean acidification leading to death of coral reefs,” it says.”

Last year the bank and its partner, the Asian Development Bank, approved $850million in loans to finance a coal-fired plant in Gujarat, western India.

The Environmental Defence Fund, a US lobby group, said that the plant, the first of nine planned in India, would be one of the biggest new sources of greenhouse gases on Earth, emitting 26.7million tonnes of CO2 a year for the next 50 years.”

“Marianne Fay, the bank’s chief economist for sustainable development, said that coal was the cheapest and most secure way to deliver electricity to the 1.6billion people without it. She said: “There are a lot of poor countries which have coal reserves and for them it’s the only option. The [bank’s] policy is to continue funding coal to the extent that there is no alternative and to push for the most efficient coal plants possible. Frankly, it would be immoral at this stage to say, ‘We want to have clean hands, therefore we are not going to touch coal’.”

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