It’s a battle being fought in a secluded boardroom in Washington and not some far-off and restless country. The US and Britain are trying to bully the World Bank in not going ahead with a $3.75 billion loan for a coal-fired power plant in South Africa.
This is their way of imposing a climate change agenda on the developing world. A Reuters report on Sunday said that board members from Africa, China and India have shot off a protest letter to World Bank president Robert Zoellick.
The loan may still get through when the World Bank board takes a decision on 6 April. But the US and Britain have threatened to withhold support for the loan.
There is nothing but hypocrisy here. Unlike the US, which does not even have a nationally approved target to cut carbon emissions, South Africa foresees a peak in its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions between 2020 and 2025. The Obama administration’s proposal to cut GHGs is stuck in the Senate. A country that cannot order its own politics on the subject has no business arm-twisting others into submission.