July 17 News: World Bank Won’t Finance Coal Plants Anymore Because Climate Change Hurts The Poor


In the same way President Obama announced the U.S. would not finance coal plants abroad unless there was no other option, the World Bank did the same thing yesterday. [Reuters] The World Bank’s board on Tuesday agreed to a new energy strategy that will limit financing of coal-fired power plants to “rare circumstances,” as the Washington-based global development powerhouse seeks to address the impact of climate change. The Bank will amend its lending policies for new coal-fired power projects, restricting financial support to countries that have “no feasible alternatives” to coal, as it seeks to balance environmental efforts with the energy needs of poor countries. The impact of this energy strategy may not be seen immediately, since bilateral donors and the private sector will still continue to finance coal. Some analysts hope the new strategy could send a signal that coal is a risky investment and prompt countries to turn to alternative energy sources. … Under World Bank President Jim Yong Kim – the first scientist to head the poverty-fighting institution – the bank has launched a more aggressive stance to spur action on climate change. Kim has said it is impossible to tackle poverty without dealing with the effects of a warmer world. A heat wave has brought blazing temperatures to the northeast U.S., causing heat advisories to be issued in dozens of cities. [Reuters] Major insurance company Swiss Re thinks flood insurance needs to be changed in order to better deal with major disasters like Hurricane Sandy. [Time] Small towns are arguing that the need the revenue Keystone XL will bring for essentials like basic infrastructure, but critics say that money will dry up fast. [InsideClimate News] China is moving to quickly develop seven new gas fields in the East China Sea, which could increase tensions with Japan, which shares a maritime border in the region. [Reuters] Refinery receipts of crude oil continue to increase by barge, rail, and train — mostly to the Gulf region. [Today In Energy] Oil sheens that have been spotted in the Gulf of Mexico are likely coming from Deepwater Horizon wreckage, according to a study. [AP] Tens of thousands of dead eels have washed up on China’s shores, and though their cause of death is still unknown, a major Chinese oil company is suspect. [TreeHugger] A wildfire west of Palm Springs, California has destroyed seven homes and threatens more. [USA Today] As the ice shelves off Antarctica break up and melt, the marine ecology they once covered changes dramatically. [Climate News Network] Russia has blocked a European proposal for what would have been the world’s largest marine sanctuary, largely because of the country’s commercial fishing interests. [Guardian] A poll sponsored by a company, United Technologies, that supports the construction of Keystone XL pipeline found that a 67 percent of Americans support the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. [National Journal] A British company has developed a way to recycle disposable paper coffee cups by extracting the plastic materials from them. [Guardian One would think that rooftop solar power in Arizona would be a no-brainer, but it is being fought fiercely by the coal-heavy utilities, who last week proposed a $50-100 fee for homes that produce their own power. [Vote Solar, Arizona Republic] If you wanted to watch the construction of the Tesla Model S, here’s your chance. Hint: it involves 3,000 employees and 160 robots. [Gas 2]

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