US Govt May Back 9 GW of Coal Power Plants in India & South Africa, When It Should Support Renewables

photo: Duncan Harris via flickr

Despite a Congressional mandate directing the Export-Import Bank of the United States to use 10% of its 2009-2010 financing towards renewable energy project, according to a US Government Accountability Office report the Bank will fall "well short of the 10% Congressional target"--as in only spending 2% on renewables. In fact right now in may back nearly 9 gigawatts of humungous coal-fired power plants in India and South Africa.A final review for the 3.96 GW Sasan Ultra Mega Power & Mine Project in India and another loan for the 4.8 GW Kusile coal project in South Africa are currently in process.

The Indian project is so large that the carbon emissions it would create are 1.7% of the nation's total emissions, while the South African project would increase that nation's emissions by 9.7%. (Mongabay) The South African project is so large that it alone would emit 150% of the annual carbon dioxide emissions of all projects supported by Ex-Im in 2009, NGO Pacfic Environment says.

Sierra Club's John Coequyt sums it up:

Instead of financing dirty power projects aboard, the Export-Import Bank should be positioning US companies to lead in a competitive clean-technology market that can create thousands of jobs in the US.

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More on Coal:
Coal Plants Do $64 Billion of Damage a Year to US Environment
China's Coal Burning Cost the Environment $13 Billion Last Year
In Appalachia, Coal Mining Costs $9-76 Billion More Per Year Than It Pulls In

Tags: Carbon Emissions | Coal | India | South Africa | United States


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