Dirty advance

Published: Saturday 15 August 2009

-- Financial institutions push coal-fired power plants, not renewable energy, says US study

Down to Earth 88 coal-fired power plants received funds from World Bank and other international public financial institutions in the past 15 years

Down to Earth US $137 billion has been spent on constructing/expanding the plants since 1994, the year the United Nations Framework on Climate Change came into force

Down to Earth Most of these plants are in Indonesia, the Philippines, China, Vietnam and India

Down to Earth These 88 power plants can generate 791 million tonnes of CO2 a year, more than three-quarters of the current emissions from coal-fired power plants in the EU

Down to Earth These plants can cause 6,000 to 10,700 deaths, mostly from cardiopulmonary diseases and cancer, every year.

Down to Earth The World Bank classifies 40 per cent of its energy lending as low carbon. But under this definition, it covers new super-thermal coal-fired power plants that are among the biggest emitters of CO2

Down to Earth Between 2000 and 2006, global coal use grew by 4.9 per cent a year. Renewable energy grew at 3.1 per cent

Down to Earth Export credit agencies invest US $310 million a year on renewable energy against US $1.5 billion on coal-fired plants the past 15 years

Source Foreclosing the Future Coal, Climate and Public International Finance, a study by US-based non-profit Environmental Defense Fund. The study was released in April 2009

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