The World Bank, which provides loans to developing countries, has stated categorically that a global temperature rise of 4 degrees Celsius must not happen. Certainly there is every cause for such a statement – this level of climate change would be devastating.
However, in a remarkable show of hypocrisy, the World Bank is now considering financing a large coal-fired power plant in Mongolia, adding yet more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.
The environmental problems don’t stop there. The whole purpose of this coal plant is to provide energy for a vast copper and gold mine, the environmental impact of which has not been properly assessed but is likely to be considerable. The venture also threatens the livelihoods of traditional nomadic herders.
Environmental groups in Mongolia and outside say that that financing the mine and associate power station violates the bank’s own policies on screening coal projects.
Tell the World Bank not to finance this destructive venture.
We the undersigned ask that you not finance the planned Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine and associated coal-fired power station in Mongolia. The overall social and ecological impacts of the venture have not been properly assessed, while carbon emission from the coal power station would negate the World Bank Group’s recent statements on the urgency of minimising climate change.
It seems that the World Bank’s investment in coal power plants has actually increased in the past few years, which is completely the opposite of what should be the case.
Financing new coal plants is not in any way going to help slow climate change. Rather, it will exacerbate it, thus making the World Bank one of those bearing responsibility for the damage that a 4 degree rise would almost certainly cause.
We ask that the IFC not finance the Oyu Tolgoi project. We also request that you examine your policy on the funding of all projects based upon the burning of fossil fuels and, at the very least, drastically reduce your organisation's financing of such projects.
Thank you for your attention.