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World Bank Just LOVES "Clean Coal" For Its Renewable Energy Plan

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 12:36 PM
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World Bank Just LOVES "Clean Coal" For Its Renewable Energy Plan
WASHINGTON, Aug 18 (IPS) - A global energy plan to be released by the World Bank next month risks squandering scarce resources on so-called clean coal technologies and misses bigger investments in renewable energy, but does address gaps in the energy needs of the poor, according to a new analysis by an environmental group. World Bank officials will discuss the document, called the "Progress Report on the Investment Framework for Clean Energy and Development", later this month before it is placed on the agenda of the joint annual meetings of the World Bank and its sister institution, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), next month in Singapore.


In its most recent figures released this week, the Bank said that investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency were now 20 percent of the Bank's total energy sector commitments in fiscal year 2006, which totaled 4.4 billion dollars for 62 renewable energy projects in 35 countries. "Renewable energy and energy efficiency can contribute significantly to achieving the Millennium Development Goals," said Jamal Saghir, who directs the Energy and Water department at the Bank, referring to a United Nations-led plan to cut global poverty in half by 2015. "In fact, they offer a 'double dividend' -- meeting the essential energy needs of countries for sustained growth and poverty reduction, while at the same time preserving or enhancing the environment," he said.

Yet IRN argues that the Bank still favours "advanced fossil-fuel technologies" in the document, such as coal- and gas-fired plants, and non-fossil fuel technologies such as hydropower, wind and nuclear. This could prove counterproductive since large hydropower projects, especially in tropical regions, emit substantial greenhouse gases that can surpass the emissions of similarly sized thermal power plants.

The group called on the Bank not to waste money subsidising fossil fuel projects and to use soft loans and other funding to buy down the costs of renewable energy technologies. The World Bank document, critics note, also does not address the need for Northern polluters from rich nations to reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions.

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bigbrother05 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 01:16 PM
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