Sunday, May 08, 2016

Plans for Coal-Fired Power in Asia Are 'Disaster for Planet' Warns World Bank

Poll results on the cause of global warming, broken down by American political party. (Illustration Credit: Yale and George Mason universities, Politics & Global warming, Spring 2016) Click to Enlarge.
Plans to build more coal-fired power plants in Asia would be a “disaster for the planet” and overwhelm the deal forged at Paris to fight climate change, the president of the World Bank said on Thursday.

In an unusually stark warning, the World Bank president, Jim Yong Kim, noted that countries in south and south-east Asia were on track to build hundreds more coal-fired power plants in the next 20 years – despite promises made at Paris to cut greenhouse gas emissions and pivot to a clean energy future.

In the US, coal use is in sharp decline – and the country’s biggest companies are in bankruptcy. But there is still strong demand for coal in south Asia and east Asia, where tens of millions still have no access to electricity.

On their own, China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam account for three-quarters of new coal-fired power plants expected to be built around the world in the next five years.  In India alone about 300 million people live without access to electricity.

“If Vietnam goes forward with 40GW of coal, if the entire region implements the coal-based plans right now, I think we are finished,” Kim told a two-day gathering of government and corporate leaders in Washington, in a departure from his prepared remarks.

“That would spell disaster for us and our planet.”

Putting coal-fired plants on hold – permanently – and making it affordable and practical for countries to replace fossil fuels with clean sources of energy such as wind and solar was the prime focus of the two-day meeting, and the bank’s new mission.

Read more at Plans for Coal-Fired Power in Asia Are 'Disaster for Planet' Warns World Bank

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