In contrast the Center for American Progress, a US NGO calling fro strong action on climate change, celebrated the tough stand taken by the United States:
The opposition to the Eskom loan has raised eyebrows among observers who note that Britain and the United States are allowing development of coal-powered plants in their own countries even as they raise concerns about those in poorer countries.
The South African plant is using the same so-called clean coal technology used in the United States and other developing countries to lower carbon emissions.
The Environmental Defense Fund called the bank's decision a setback."This was a missed opportunity for the U.S. and the World Bank to move away from a traditional focus on fossil-fueled growth and toward a new model of low-carbon economic development," said Peter Goldmark, director of the Environmental Defense Fund's climate and air program.
It is further encouraging that the U.S. vote is consistent with the Treasury Department’s recently released guidelines for multilateral development banks’ financial support of coal-fired power plantsIn contrast to this strange spin, the Obama Administration saw the decision as being contrary top their own guidelines, according to Reuters:
Mix together development, poverty, economics, energy access and what you'll get is a whole lot of contortions and inconsistencies on climate policy.
The U.S. Treasury said the project was inconsistent with U.S. guidelines issued in December by the Obama administration on coal-related lending by development banks.
It said the project was also incompatible with the World Bank's strategy to help countries pursue economic growth and poverty reduction in ways that are environmentally friendly.
Any guesses as to what happens when the next big coal plant comes before the World Bank? The answer should be obvious.