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World Bank increases fossil-fuel funding despite pledge

Source:  Copyright 2008, Bloomberg
Date:  August 24, 2008
Byline:  Christopher Swann
Original URL: Status ONLINE

Once the new Tata Ultra Mega power plant in western India is fired up in 2012 and fully operational, it will become one of the world's 50 largest greenhouse-gas emitters. And the World Bank is helping make it possible.

A year after World Bank President Robert Zoellick pledged to "significantly step up our assistance" in fighting climate change, the development institution is increasing its financing of fossil-fuel projects around the globe.

The $4.14 billion, coal-powered Ultra Mega plant will emit more carbon dioxide annually than the nation of Tunisia, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The World Bank in April agreed to provide $450 million in loans and guarantees for the project and also may buy a $50 million stake in it.

"The World Bank's lending record does not match up to Zoellick's rhetoric," says Heike Mainhardt-Gibbs, a consultant to the Bank Information Center, a Washington watchdog group. "The institution is simply not ...

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