World Bank's energy funding scrutinized

Oct. 9, 2013 at 8:21 AM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- An advocacy group campaigning against fossil fuels said World Bank funding for clean energy projects is missing the mark.

Oil Change International said its review of World Bank funding for 2013 showed $2.7 billion went toward fossil fuels compared with $1.7 billion for clean energy programs.

"Despite its recent commitment to phase out coal lending, the World Bank Group's most recent fiscal year continues a persistent bias towards fossil fuels," Oil Change International said in a report published Tuesday.

Last month, the World Bank approved $140 million in funding for Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, to replace dilapidated gas turbines with new power units. It said the new units would produce 250 percent more electricity than existing plants with the same amount of gas.

"Replacing existing gas turbines [will] make them run cleaner, greener and more efficiently," the bank said.

Oil Change International said the bank was focused too much on programs that would use fossil fuels, which a report this year from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said contributed to global warming.

"Funding the expansion of known reserves is both wasteful and dangerous," the advocacy group said.

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