World Bank Funding for South Africa Coal Plant Under Threat?

The United States and Britain have expressed reservations over a USD3.75 billion World Bank loan to build a coal-fired power plant in South Africa, citing a preference for “no or low carbon” energy sources, Reuters reports.

The two countries, among the bank’s largest members and major contributors to greenhouse gases, is reportedly withholding support for the loan supposed to construct a 4,800-megawatt coal plant in South Africa’s northern Limpopo region. The project is touted to fill crippling power supply gaps in the country.

The loan is still “likely to be approved” on April 6, but the U.S and British move has been criticized as both countries continued to operate coal-fired plants domestically. Developed nations had drawn flak at the Copenhagen climate summit in December for failing to set stronger carbon emission cut targets.

The U.S. Treasury recently informed multilateral institutions of its directive to U.S. representatives that low-carbon emission energy sources should be prioritized over coal-based power.

About the author

  • Tarra Quismundo

    Tarra Quismundo joined Devex Manila as a staff writer in October 2009 after more than six years of working as a reporter for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, a nationwide daily, for which she covered major breaking news in politics, military, police and international affairs. Tarra's Devex News coverage focuses on key Asian donors and top aid officials around the globe.