TWN Info Service on Climate Change (Mar10/04)
Community, labour and environmental groups in South Africa, supported by civil society around the world, are rallying to oppose a loan by the World Bank to build the world’s fourth largest coal-fired power plant.
Most of the proposed $3.75 billion loan would finance the massive 4800 MW Medupi plant, which will emit 25 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. The loan’s main beneficiaries will be multinational corporations BHP Billiton, Anglo American Corporation, and other energy intensive industries, which already receive the world’s cheapest electricity supply. BHP Billiton’s rate is just over US$0.01 per kWh, about a tenth as much as poor people pay.
Civil society throughout the world contends that the proposed World Bank coal loan, which would go to the South African utility Eskom, exemplifies why the Bank should not be vested with responsibility for climate financing. The Bank’s energy portfolio remains a boon for the fossil fuel industry. It is one of the world’s top multilateral fossil fuel financiers.
The attached report gives more information on the controversial World Bank project.
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