In a bold, pre-sustainable development era move, the World Bank is pushing to finance a US$3.75 billion (rand 29 billion) project to establish a new coal plant in South Africa twice the size of the largest plant currently in Great Britain.

This project would be directed through Eskom, one of the largest suppliers of electricity to Africa (approximately 95% of South African electricity and 45% across the country), and incidentally one of the dirtiest and most resistant to clean, sustainable energies. And wait, it gets worse: Eskom had also, originally, planned a rate increases of 45% (!), but only a 25% increase was permitted by the South African government – which is still terrible.

Quick recap: the self-proclaimed sustainable development development agency, the World Bank, wants to loan the South African energy giant Eskom US$3.75 million to fund another dirty, out-of-fashion coal plant. W-O-W!

South Africa already emits more CO2 per capita than the UK and yet some 15% of its population remains unconnected to its energy grid. The SA government aims to reign in this portion of the populous with this new plant, but as a country rich in solar and wind potential, the largest funder of development assistance worldwide ought to be initiating development projects that will be sustainable, long-lasting endeavors, and not endanger South Africans present and future.

An African environmental group, Groundwork, has criticized the loan as “a bad project, contributing to energy poverty and environmental destruction.” This plant will only further pollute streams, destroy and pollute communities, and create an expensive mess the government will only be forced to cleanup years on down the line.

So, 350.org, one of the best, most cutting-edge progressive groups out there has launched a campaign, alongside 65 other indigenous groups in South Africa, to stop this ill-conceived development project.

Take action. Tell the World Bank “Clean Energy for South Africa, NOT Coal!”

Read more at www.AfricaAction.org

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