UK urged to push World Bank to clean up its act

By agency reporter
7 Jul 2011

British MPs’ demands to withhold money from the World Bank unless it stops financing new, dirty coal power stations has been welcomed by Christian Aid, commenting on a report by the Environmental Audit Committee.

"We are delighted with this report," said Alison Doig, Christian Aid’s Climate Change Adviser. "As MPs say, it’s high time the UK used its power as a major World Bank shareholder to push the Bank to clean up its act in poor countries."

Dr Doig continued: "Bank lending to coal power stations hit a record high of $4.4 billion in 2010 and is a recipe for disaster. It fuels climate change and locks poor countries into dirty power for decades to come – while doing little or nothing for people living in poverty."

"Poor families around the world need clean sources of energy to power their lights, cook their food and heat their water – not filthy power stations which often bypass their homes altogether," she added.

"So far, the government has been very unclear about where it stands on using aid money to fund coal and other fossil-fuelled power stations. It has said it would support it under some circumstances.

"We need a much stronger signal that the UK will not allow our aid to be used to support dirty fossil fuels and that we will instead support funds helping poor countries to leapfrog to renewable technologies which actually deliver energy to people living in poverty," said the Christian Aid adviser.

[Ekk/3]

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