"South African Coal Plant Proposal Strains 'Culture' of World Bank"

"In the past five years, the United States has opposed less than 3 percent of more than 3,400 World Bank Group loans and grants, a ClimateWire  analysis has found.

Despite the country's being the largest shareholder, American opposition failed to stop any of the $183 billion worth of roads, dams, hospitals, irrigation systems or other projects that came before the bank's executive directors for approval. Nevertheless, America exerts a powerful influence on the bank, and its opposition is often enough to steer major policy shifts behind the scenes.

That clout is about to be tested. On Wednesday, the World Bank board is expected to vote on a $3.75 billion loan to help South Africa build a 4,800-megawatt coal-fired power plant. The plant will release an estimated 25 million metric tons of global warming pollution into the atmosphere. Its loan application has sparked some of the fiercest public outcry the World Bank has seen in years."

Lisa Friedman reports for ClimateWire April 5, 2010.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010