Raging debate: African leaders ask World Bank President to side with Africa on baseload power argument

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African leaders have asked World Bank President Jim Yong Kim for his support in the raging debate that they should be allowed to provide baseload power to their countries, especially because, according to them, the current pollution and degradation of the planet have been mainly caused by developed countries.







Africa stands up to world’s polluters

Dr Kim made the disclosure at the World Bank Annual Meetings in Bali early this month.

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An estimated 1.1 billion people – 14% of the global population – do not have access to electricity according to the International Energy Agency.

The World Bank has announced it will not fund upstream oil and gas projects from 2019, a decision that follows a similar ban on coal financing.

But African leaders faulted the World Bank, arguing that it was not only illogical but also wrong for institutions such as the World Bank to insist that African nations cannot use fossil fuels for baseload electricity.

The argument by African leaders is that the current pollution of the planet has been mainly caused by the developed countries and not by Africans.

“We feel that you have to listen to the social justice arguments from people from poor countries who have not put any of the carbon in the air and want to have baseload,” Dr Kim said. 

In May, Bloomberg reported that climate talks organized by the United Nations ended with “developing countries demanding more clarity from their richer counterparts on when a promised package of $100 billion in finance will materialize”.

The report said “developing nations want more detail on what money is coming before signing up to the Paris rules”.

In late 2017 Standard and Poor’s released a report questioning where $100 billion would come from, citing a need for many countries to increase budgets and debt burdens to finance their pledges

“In our view, it is very unlikely that governments would be willing, or able, to risk deteriorating their creditworthiness by stretching their budgets and debt burdens to fund the implementation costs,” the report by Standard and Poor’s said.

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Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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