Funding Limits on Coal Plants Proposed in New World Bank Policy

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The World Bank is planning to limit its funding for coal-fired power plants to the world’s poorest nations, bowing to pressure from environmental groups and governments that have criticized the bank’s record on funding fossil fuel projects, according to published reports.

Under proposed new regulations, the World Bank would provide loans or grants for coal plants only in “the very poorest countries,” and only if the applicants have shown that the plants are necessary and that alternative solutions, including renewable energy projects, are not feasible, according to the Guardian.

The proposed changes come a year after the World Bank gave a controversial $4 billion loan to a South African company to build one of the world’s largest coal plants. While the new rules would also favor increased investment in renewable energy, critics called the proposal inadequate.

The rules would allow the bank to spend as much money as ever on fossil fuels and “condemn” poor countries to a high-carbon future, said Alison Doig of the nonprofit group, Christian Aid.

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.

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Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University. We are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The opinions and views expressed in Yale Environment 360 are those of the authors and not of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies or of Yale University.