| WASHINGTON, June 26
WASHINGTON, June 26 The World Bank plans to
limit the financing it provides for coal-fired power plants to
"rare circumstances" as part of the global financial body's
efforts to address the impact of climate change.
The move was detailed in a 39-page strategy document seen by
Reuters. It came a day after U.S. President Barack Obama - as
part of a sweeping package of climate measures - said that the
United States would stop investing in coal projects overseas and
called on multilateral banks to do the same.
"The World Bank Group will help clients identify
alternatives to coal power as they make transitions toward
sustainable energy," the report said.
The bank plans to cease providing financial support for new
coal power generation projects, "except in rare circumstances
where there are no feasible alternatives available to meet basic
energy needs and other sources of financing are absent."
A spokesman said the World Bank is committed to helping
create universal access to electricity and safe household fuels,
doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix,
and doubling the rate of improvement of energy efficiency.
"The World Bank Group's energy work is aligned with our twin
goals of ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity
and the objectives of sustainable energy for all," the bank's
Frederick Jones said in a statement.
The paper, titled "Toward a Sustainable Energy Future for
All," has been submitted to board members for their review in
preparation for a discussion on July 19, and could still be
The report said that natural gas could play an important
role if coal is phased out.
"Natural gas, which has half the carbon footprint of coal at
the point of combustion, can be the least-cost means of
providing flexible electricity supply where demand and supply
fluctuate," the report said.
(Reporting by Valerie Volcovici; Writing by Ros Krasny; Editing
by Eric Beech)