World Bank Urged to Vote ‘no’ on Eskom Coal Loan

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Karen Orenstein, 202-222-0717 (office), korenstein@foe.org
Kelly Trout, 202-222-0722 (office), ktrout@foe.org

World Bank Urged to Vote ‘no’ on Eskom Coal Loan

Friends of the Earth echoes South Africans’ call for the World Bank to reject a massive dirty coal loan that would lead to more poverty and pollution

WASHINGTON - The World Bank is expected to vote tomorrow, April 8, on whether to
approve a $3.75 billion loan that would help South African utility Eskom build
the 4800 MW Medupi coal-fired power plant, which would be one of the
world’s largest and most polluting.

Friends of
the Earth-US joined South Africa’s leading community, labor, faith-based,
and environmental groups, as well as more than 125 groups worldwide, in calling
on the World Bank to reject this loan
.

Friends of
the Earth President Erich Pica echoed their concerns with the following
statement:

“This
coal loan is not about alleviating poverty or supporting sustainable
development and the World Bank has no business making it. The World Bank should
listen to the voices of communities in South Africa and cut the coal.

“Multinational
corporations will be the big winners if this loan moves forward. Big corporate
polluters cut secret deals with Eskom under apartheid. They receive cut-rate
electricity and won't have to pay their fair share of the cost of building the
coal plant. Poor households will be stuck with much of the bill. This is unjust
and unacceptable.

“Friends
of the Earth calls on U.S. World Bank Executive Director Ian Solomon to vote
against this loan on April 8.

“The
World Bank has handed out billions to the fossil fuel industry through its energy
portfolio, and this coal loan would add to that shameful legacy. If the Obama
administration is serious about its pledge to end subsidies to fossil fuels, it
would use its power as the biggest World Bank funder to stop this loan.”

More
information

April 7 is
a global day
of protest
against the World Bank coal loan. In Washington, DC, activists
from the U.S. and Africa will demonstrate across from the World Bank's
headquarters from 12:00 – 2:00 pm to call on the Bank to vote
“no.”

This
action comes one day after residents located in the Waterberg area of South
Africa’s Limpopo Province filed a complaint
with the World Bank’s independent complaint body, the Inspection Panel,
raising serious concerns about the coal plant’s impacts on their health,
livelihoods, and the environment.

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Friends of the Earth is the U.S. voice of the world's largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has fought to create a more healthy, just world.

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