Despite abstentions from Britain, America and the Netherlands the World Bank approved a £2.4bn loan to build a huge new coal-fired power station in South Africa. A US treasury spokesman explained that the abstention was due to an "incompatibility with the World Bank's commitment to be a leader in climate change mitigation and adaption".
Although the plant will emit 25 million tons of carbon per annum, South African ministers claimed that the project was essential for their country's development point out that much of the new electricity will be used by heavy industry.
This decision has exposed the chasm between two imperative international goals; alleviating poverty and preventing global warming.
In an article in the Guardian, Andrew Chambers argues that it is unacceptable to use global warming to limit growth in poor African countries. He suggests that it is up to the rich world to develop cleaner technologies and make them available to poor coutries.
See full article at http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cif-green/2010/apr/11/eco-imperialism-climate-change-carbon