Guest essay by Eric Worrall
The Guardian claims that planned expansion of coal power across Asia is pushing the Paris Climate Agreement to the brink of collapse.
Plans for coal-fired power in Asia are ‘disaster for planet’ warns World Bank
Experts have offered stark warnings that proposed power plants in India, China, Vietnam and Indonesia would blow Paris climate deal if they move ahead.
Plans to build more coal-fired power plants in Asia would be a “disaster for the planet” and overwhelm the deal forged at Paris to fight climate change, the president of the World Bank said on Thursday.
In an unusually stark warning, the World Bank president, Jim Yong Kim, noted that countries in south and south-east Asia were on track to build hundreds more coal-fired power plants in the next 20 years – despite promises made at Paris to cut greenhouse gas emissions and pivot to a clean energy future.
On their own, China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam account for three-quarters of new coal-fired power plants expected to be built around the world in the next five years. In India alone about 300 million people live without access to electricity.
“If Vietnam goes forward with 40GW of coal, if the entire region implements the coal-based plans right now, I think we are finished,” Kim told a two-day gathering of government and corporate leaders in Washington, in a departure from his prepared remarks.
“That would spell disaster for us and our planet.”
The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, is pushing hard for governments to formally join the agreement and bring it into force before Barack Obama leaves office in January 2017.
That would help protect the agreement from a future president – such as the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump – who denies or doubts that climate change is even occurring.
Last year WUWT reported how, in the wake of the World Bank refusing to fund affordable energy, China and Japan were competing to supply funds for new coal plants. Japan even compounded the joke, by defining investment in coal as “climate finance”.
In response, the World Bank now seems to be asking the rising superpowers of the 21st century to please desist from their economic expansion plans, because they want to block the likely next President of the United States from enacting the will of the American people, by tearing up the Paris Climate Agreement.
Somehow I don’t think the World Bank is going to win this one.