Britain is seen to hold the deciding vote on a planned World Bank loan of some USD3.7 billion to construct a coal-fired power station in South Africa, The Guardian reports. South Africa’s Medupi station will be one of the biggest coal plants worldwide but is projected to emit 25 million tons of carbon dioxide annually.
The British government will cast the vote in a World Bank board meeting April 8. The U.S. is expected abstain in the vote.
“We haven’t made the decision yet. It’s very difficult,” a spokesperson at the U.K. Department for International Development said, as quoted by The Guardian. “We have been in negotiations with the bank for some time. We are well aware of the implications of voting either way, and of both sides’ arguments.”
The U.K.’s support for combating climate change is now pitted against its backing for the South African industry, which has been suffering from power shortages in the past two years.