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On April 8th 2010, the World Bank approved a controversial $ 3 billion loan for a coal-fired power station to ESKOM, the South Africa-based, state owned electricity utility, despite serious concerns from environmental organizations and the faith community. United States, Britain and Norway, Italy and the Netherlands abstained from voting for the coal loan due to unresolved environmental concerns and economic impacts on local communities.
More than 200 organizations across the world have endorsed a critique of the loan saying it will be a burden to poor people who will likely see their household bills increase, while international extractive corporations will continue to receive subsidized energy due to special pricing agreements with Eskom
Eskom is the world’s fourth-largest power company and Africa’s largest carbon emitter, and accounts for 40% of South Africa’s total emissions. The loan raised serious environmental concerns such as pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and raised questions about the World Bank’s commitment to renewable energy sources.
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