Archive for March, 2011

The Real Cost of Coal

March 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Niranjali Amerasinghe, Staff Attorney

By Niranjali Amerasinghe

Last time I blogged, I wrote about how coal-based power projects are not as cheap as they seem.  This is because coal projects have a number of hidden social and environmental costs or externalities that are either under-valued or excluded from the typical economic costs calculus.   Today, I’d like to highlight a recent case that illustrates this exact point: the famous Eskom loan.

Last year, the World Bank approved a 3.75 billion dollar loan to Eskom Holdings (a large energy provider in South Africa) through the South African Government.  The bulk of that loan, 3.04 billion of it to be exact, is allocated to fund a 4,800 MW coal plant (Medupi) in Lephalale, South Africa.  Once completed, Medupi will tie for the largest coal plant in South Read more…


Getting the IFC to respect & protect human rights.

March 2, 2011 4 comments

Hana Heineken, Law Fellow

By Hana Heineken

Today, CIEL, along with Amnesty International, Bretton Woods Project, and International Accountability Project, submitted a letter to the Vice President and CEO of the IFC, Lars Thunell, urging the IFC to respect and protect human rights.

What is the IFC? The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector lending arm of the World Bank, lends directly, or indirectly by way of financial intermediaries, to businesses in developing countries: in 2010, its investments totaled over 12.5 billion dollars, providing partial financing for over 500 projects worldwide.

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