Target: World Bank Group’s Energy Sector
Goal: Support the World Bank for reducing coal financing in developing countries to create a sustainable energy future
The World Bank announced a new energy strategy to limit funding for coal-fired energy plants except in “rare circumstances” where alternative energy sources aren’t yet a viable option. According to Reuters, this strategy “seeks to balance environmental efforts with the energy needs of poor countries.” The Bank will instead assist countries in developing affordable alternatives to coal power. The World Bank has enormous global influence in shaping energy reform, particularly in developing countries that benefit most from their aid. In 2012, they financed $53 billion in infrastructure projects. Environmentalists hope this decision will signal to other countries the urgency of reducing their dependence on coal and transitioning to renewable energy sources.
The Bank has been criticized in the past for insisting that countries reduce their carbon dioxide emissions while simultaneously supporting new coal-fired power plants. However, under the direction of new President, Jim Yong Kim, the Bank has adopted a more aggressive policy on climate change mitigation. By acknowledging poverty and environmental degradation as interrelated issues, he states, “It is impossible to tackle poverty without dealing with the effects of a warmer world.”
As emerging market countries like China and India have begun to recognize development based on polluting fossil fuels as expensive and unsustainable, a global shift has occurred favoring investments in renewable energy. President Barack Obama recently pledged to cut back on coal projects overseas, as well as mandating international agencies to stop investing in “coal burning equipment as a form of development aid.”
The World Bank also recently launched a program to map renewable energy potential in developing countries. This mapping technology provides much-needed data to pinpoint resources and identify the best locations for serving large populations, helping countries like Pakistan to develop a comprehensive renewable energy plan. We applaud the World Bank for adopting a strong stance on cutting carbon emissions and helping developing nations build a more sustainable energy future.
Dear World Bank Group’s Energy Sector,
The newest announcement by the Energy Sector to reduce funding of coal-fired plants in developing countries is a promising step in creating a clean energy future. By eliminating financing of coal-based development, the World Bank is prompting developing nations to reconsider the destructive and costly path of fossil fuels and instead provides them with opportunities and tools to transition to a sustainable energy economy.
With an emphasis on accessibility, energy efficiency, and environmental sustainability, the strategy will hopefully influence international public policy away from fossil fuels to clean and renewable energy sources. We are thankful for your leadership in promoting renewable energy in the global community.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Asian Development Bank via Flickr