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The Almighty Buck

U.S. Will Not Provide Financing For New International Coal-Fired Power Plants 329

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the free-nuclear-reactors-oh-wait dept.
Dorianny writes "The Treasury Department declared it would no longer support any new coal-fired power plants around the world. By leading a coalition of like-minded countries including several European ones that have already announced similar intentions, they will effectively be able to block the World Bank and other international development banks from providing financing for new coal-fired plants. The policy is unlikely to amount to any real change as 75 percent of proposed coal-powered plants are in China and India, which do not rely on outside financing. It seems to me that the poorest, most underdeveloped nations that contribute the least to global emissions are the ones getting the short end of the stick from this policy."
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U.S. Will Not Provide Financing For New International Coal-Fired Power Plants

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  • FTFY (Score:4, Insightful)

    by stewsters (1406737) on Wednesday October 30, 2013 @08:35AM (#45279265)
    It seems to me that the poorest, most underdeveloped nations that contribute the least to global emissions are the ones getting the short end of the stick from every policy ever.

    They are contributing least to global emissions, lets keep it that way.
    • Re:FTFY (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Salgak1 (20136) <salgak@NOspam.speakeasy.net> on Wednesday October 30, 2013 @08:50AM (#45279463) Homepage

      OF course, it ALSO means they are prevented from developing a modern economy and advancing the their production structure to no longer BEING a poor, underdeveloped nation. That doesn't seem to be a consideration.

      No matter, we'll just keep using them for manually recycling electronic refuse, dumping toxins, etc. Nothing to see here, move along, move along. . .

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by TWiTfan (2887093)

        Why would the U.S. want to finance potential competitors?

        • Re:FTFY (Score:4, Insightful)

          by wytcld (179112) on Wednesday October 30, 2013 @09:26AM (#45279977) Homepage

          Why would the U.S. want to finance potential competitors?

          Because they're also potential customers - for electrical and generating equipment to start with (most of these loans are for equipment they buy from us), and for all sorts of other goods once their wealth increases.

          • by cayenne8 (626475)

            Because they're also potential customers - for electrical and generating equipment to start with (most of these loans are for equipment they buy from us), and for all sorts of other goods once their wealth increases.

            Actually, since they would likely work for almost nothing, they'd be competitors for manufacturing, which we can barely do any more as it is.

            My larger question is...with our money woes in the US, wtf are we sending money ANYWHERE outside our borders rather than using it to help ourselves of de

            • by lgw (121541)

              they'd be competitors for manufacturing, which we can barely do any more as it is.

              America's manufacturing capacity is larger than it's ever been - there has never been a decade in which it has fallen. Don't confuse the lack of manufacturing jobs with the lack of manufacturing capacity - automation and technology keep happening.

              My larger question is...with our money woes in the US, wtf are we sending money ANYWHERE outside our borders rather than using it to help ourselves of debt, and help our own poor people internally?

              What are you smoking? All money is sent to supporters of politicians, internal or external. Old people (some of whom are poor) get the lion's share, of course, but the more poor people dependent on government checks we can create, the better for politicians.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        welcome to the mind of a liberal. They want to help people, but they don't want people to help people be self sufficient because then they wouldn't need help.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by microbox (704317)
          That is an interesting point of view. (Interesting as in barking wrong [amazon.com].) As of 2013, wind power is now cheaper than coal power [wikipedia.org], and that is true even when you ignore the cost of carbon pollution. Obviously this policy is more about heading of crony capitalism... lobbyists doing favours to get coal power plants built that will buy their companies products for 50 years.
          • Obviously this policy is more about heading of crony capitalism... lobbyists doing favours to get coal power plants built that will buy their companies products for 50 years.

            Don't forget it's crony sibling, "job creation". Politicians love to show how some tax money is being used to keep people working or local businesses expanding. Doesn't matter if it is this Luddite way of generating power, "it's about jerbs!"

          • by Immerman (2627577)

            > wind power is now cheaper than coal power
            Perhaps, but only in very specific regions - most areas aren't really all that suitable for generating wind power efficiently, so it doesn't do you any good unless you have the infrastructure to transmit that power from where it's generated to where it's needed. Unlike for example many developing nations.

            • by microbox (704317)

              Perhaps, but only in very specific regions

              Perhaps? Well yes, but do you really think that engineers don't try to factor everything in, and in a way that is as principled as possible? Engineering isn't armchair philosophy. The price of wind power is coming down _fast_, and that includes solving the significant infrastructure issues. Solar power is coming down just as fast (but is a little behind), and very soon we'll see all the big box stores and data centres running on renewables, because NOT doing that is just throwing money away. The consumer w

      • Why does a country need coal to become industrialized? This comes to mind:

        http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/10/kamwamba-windmill/ [wired.com]

        Obvious recycling alternators from old cars is not a solution that scales well enough to industrialize a nation, but at the same time this was being done by a teenager with only rudimentary knowledge of engineering.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          "Now 22, Kamkwamba wants to build windmills across Malawi and perhaps beyond. Next summer he also plans to construct a drilling machine to bore 40-meter holes for water and pumps. His aim is to help Africans become self-sufficient and resolve their problems without reliance on foreign aid."

          Where is his nobel peace prize? Seriously this is the kind of thing Africa just needs a few hundred more of, since in the history of "financial aid" no nation has ever scraped out of poverty by getting deep into debt (don

        • by mlts (1038732) *

          I wonder about wood gas or biogas as well. Biomass is a lot easier to find and cultivate (can be the product of waste material from a gain harvest like hulls), and done right, this can power a generator.

          On a larger scale, biomass can be used for energy generation. Here in Texas, there is a 100MW biomass plant in Nacogdoches which is fed by waste from mills, rotten trees, and other by-products. Of course, biomass is something to get away from long term, due to CO2 output, but it is definitely a step up fr

          • Of course, biomass is something to get away from long term, due to CO2 output

            Biomass has zero net CO2 output. The plants that provide the biomass suck CO2 out of the atmosphere, then you burn it to put the same CO2 back into the atmosphere...

          • by brainboyz (114458)

            Fairly renewable? You mean completely renewable? You plant a crop, harvest the food, the excess biomass is sent to the generator, the ash from the generator gets sold off as fertilizer, which helps grow the crop. The CO2 released during the burning gets pulled back in during the growing. And the food ends up as fertilizer eventually as well.

          • However, some people say we have already passed "peak coal", especially with the fact that newer plants burn the crappy, lignite coal as opposed to better grades.

            I don't think that's an accurate statement. Lignite is more expensive to move because it's heavier (due to moisture), so most plants that burn it are built near lignite mines so they have easy access. Since lignite is big in Texas, it makes sense that some new Texas plants would burn lignite, but I don't think most new plants in the US burn lig

      • Re:FTFY (Score:4, Insightful)

        by mrchaotica (681592) * on Wednesday October 30, 2013 @08:58AM (#45279569)

        On the contrary, it means they can jump straight to clean/renewable energy, just like the jumped straight to cellphones while skipping over all the wired infrastructure.

      • Re:FTFY (Score:4, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 30, 2013 @09:02AM (#45279615)

        Sure, because as we all know the only existing type of power plant is coal. There are no power plants running on oil or gas. There are no nuclear power plants. There's no hydropower. There's no wind or solar energy. There's no geothermal energy. There's absolutely nothing but coal.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Luckyo (1726890)

          Coal is by far cheapest and most economical however, and modern coal doesn't even pollute. Modern coal burning process in new power plants alone removes most of the nasties like NOx and SO2 emissions and modern filters can eliminate particle exhaust by turning it into ash which can be kept out of atmosphere.

          Comparable gas fired plants are much more expensive, nuclear requires extreme investment and country that is politically and geologically stable, hydro requires appropriate geography, oil is less expensi

          • Re:FTFY (Score:5, Interesting)

            by microbox (704317) on Wednesday October 30, 2013 @10:09AM (#45280511)

            Coal is by far cheapest and most economical however,

            This is simply not true [wikipedia.org]. Not only is it untrue, but solar/wind will be much cheaper than coal in just a few years. The technology is really moving that fast.

            • by jader3rd (2222716)

              but solar/wind will be much cheaper than coal in just a few years.

              I think I've been hearing that argument for over two decades now. All of those projections assume a lowering in cost for solar and wind, while costs of coal remain steady, or climb. But it turns out that costs for coal drop too.

            • by Luckyo (1726890)

              What you have is a list based on current price.

              What you do not understand is that price is but one factor of actual cost. Power is baseline necessity. As a result, there are several factors to it which are not factored into monetary cost, such as reliability, availability and functionality. Costs merely relay the end user costs after local governing body absorbs all those things.

              As for wind and solar being cheaper than coal, there are two options. You are either ignorant or stupid. We need massive breakthro

              • by khallow (566160)

                As for wind and solar being cheaper than coal, there are two options. You are either ignorant or stupid. We need massive breakthroughs in:

                1. Material sciences and technologies.
                2. Electrical grid and transformer station technology.

                Those have happened and continue to happen.

                What we have left is extremely complex stuff that takes decades to just progress in a significant fashion.

                With fusion we're at least 50 years away (unless private industry solves the problem earlier), so there are plenty of decades with which to solve this particular set of problems.

            • by gl4ss (559668)

              well, call them in a few years.

              you know why oil will never be above a certain price? because you can make oil equivalent from coal at certain price(and there's plenty of coal still).

              what dictates price of coal? how much people are willing to pay for it, pretty much. solar/wind get cheaper - the coal price drops(there's still plenty of it).

              vicious cycle ain't it?

              solar has to be both cheap enough and easy, the storage for the power has to get easy and the power outputs need to be such that you could store the

            • This is simply not true. Not only is it untrue, but solar/wind will be much cheaper than coal in just a few years. The technology is really moving that fast.

              You cannot go with something that might be cheaper in a few years. Many times you have to go with what you have here and now instead of waiting for future technologies to mature.

              Coal is here and it is now. It's a cheap and reliable source of power that can be put to use. It has issues but lots of those issues can be resolved with current technology.

              • by microbox (704317)

                You cannot go with something that might be cheaper in a few years.

                I know this is slashdot, but if you _look_ at the link, and _follow_ the references, you'll see that wind is _already_ cheaper. And besides, saying that wind won't be cheaper in the future is besides the point. The situation is analogous to computers. They will be faster in the future, but existing computers don't magically get faster just because new designs are faster. I was just making the point that the fossil fuel industry is screwed -- they can't corrupt the public discourse or political processes fo

          • Re:FTFY (Score:5, Insightful)

            by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday October 30, 2013 @10:25AM (#45280755) Journal

            Coal is by far cheapest and most economical however, and modern coal doesn't even pollute. Modern coal burning process in new power plants alone removes most of the nasties like NOx and SO2 emissions and modern filters can eliminate particle exhaust by turning it into ash which can be kept out of atmosphere.

            Yeah that ash collects in a huge ever-growing toxic lake. Thus solving the problem once and for all!

            Just make sure that if any dams hold it in, you don't live in the floodplain.

            Then there's the unholy amount of CO2 these things pump out, and the huge amount of mining needed on an ongoing basis to feed the coal plant...minor problems right?

          • by jandrese (485)

            Coal is by far cheapest and most economical however, and modern coal doesn't even pollute.

            This is only true if you're ignoring CO2, which you really can't ignore anymore.

          • Re:FTFY (Score:5, Informative)

            by Silentknyght (1042778) on Wednesday October 30, 2013 @11:06AM (#45281321)

            ...and modern coal doesn't even pollute. Modern coal burning process in new power plants alone removes most of the nasties like NOx and SO2 emissions and modern filters can eliminate particle exhaust by turning it into ash which can be kept out of atmosphere..

            I'm not sure where you got your information, but it's totally wrong. It sounds like some sound byte, smacks of broad generalizations and seriously lacks technical understanding. Reduction of NOx and SO2, as well as particulate matter, is all technically possible, but to suggest it's "clean" is totally incorrect. Also, there is no "turning particle exhaust to ash", as combustion particulate is already (either fly or bottom) ash, except where it's "consensable" particulate matter (after it's already left the stack). This latter version is also usually the smallest particulate and therefore most injurious to human health & the environment.

            The US EPA keeps records on control technology and related emissions for most coal units permitted in the US: http://cfpub.epa.gov/RBLC/ [epa.gov]

            A quick search shows one unit, with proposed industry-accepted best available control for NOx, emitting (after control) up to 1,100 lbs of NOx per hour. A second unit may emit NOx up to 1,800 lbs/hr. The same search shows emissions potentials of 30-70+ lbs/hr, and that's after industry-best controls at 99.9%; the higher number is for the smaller, more injurious particulate, as it's obviously more difficult to capture. Moreover, NOX and SO2 are among the pre-cursors to the formation of aforementioned smallest particulate matter (see: http://yosemite.epa.gov/oa/eab_web_docket.nsf/Filings%20By%20Appeal%20Number/CD5F1D01895E1B6585257719006E71BC/$File/Exhibit%2027%20Damberg...3.11.pdf [epa.gov] [PDF Warning]).

          • by 517714 (762276)
            I don't agree that coal doesn't pollute, look at the huge impact of its mining on water pollution alone, but the US choosing not to finance and thereby control that scrubbers and other pollution controls are installed will almost certainly result in hundreds of plants being built to the standards of the early to mid 1900's. It seems to me that this policy is highly counterproductive environmentally; typical of the short-sighted politicians of the last five decades.
      • Re:FTFY (Score:4, Insightful)

        by voss (52565) on Wednesday October 30, 2013 @09:05AM (#45279665)

        "Officials also left open the possibility of financing coal plants that meet strict emissions standards. In the United States, the E.P.A.’s new rules require that any new coal plant emit no more than 1,100 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per megawatt-hour, just slightly more than a natural gas power plant. The new Treasury rules would permit financing of a new coal plant abroad that also meets those standards."

        In other words all those people yelling about "clean coal" need to put up or shut up.

        • by TheCarp (96830)

          Except they mostly already shut-up. While they were yelling "clean coal" the same way Microsoft was yelling "GUI Sucks", while implementing Windows.

          Lets not forget that these regulations didn't come about...UNTIL there were ALREADY NO PLANS to build another coal plant, and no expectation that anyone in the US would even be trying to build one, in the next 30 years!

          My bet is they made this announcement because it was an easy decision to make to cut off something that's hardly being used. I am sure it will be

      • by geekoid (135745)

        NO, it means they will use other technology to develop their production structure, one not dependent on oil.
        There is NO rule that says a country needs to follow the same path as others. There is no reason they can't go straight to Nuclear, wind, and solar to build an infrastructure.

      • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

        OF course, it ALSO means they are prevented from developing a modern economy and advancing the their production structure to no longer BEING a poor, underdeveloped nation. That doesn't seem to be a consideration.

        No matter, we'll just keep using them for manually recycling electronic refuse, dumping toxins, etc. Nothing to see here, move along, move along. . .

        Shhhh! I think that's the plan, but it won't work if you let the secret out. As long as 3rd world countries have to depend on 1st world countries for basic needs, it benefits the economies of the 1st world countries. Why would the US want to change that?

      • OF course, it ALSO means they are prevented from developing a modern economy and advancing the their production structure to no longer BEING a poor, underdeveloped nation

        No, it means they have a chance to leapfrog over polluting solutions into 'clean' solutions. They're also helped by the fact their energy needs are less, so they can roll out cleaner solutions like windmills and solar more successfully.

    • "short end of the stick from every policy ever"

      Exactly.

      And given that the plants in question are almost always crappy ones, I'm not very happy seeing our money go to a short-term solution that will hurt the health of the local residents for decades.

    • Re:FTFY (Score:5, Interesting)

      by wytcld (179112) on Wednesday October 30, 2013 @09:05AM (#45279655) Homepage

      Coal isn't the smartest tech to develop in the truly undeveloped areas anyway. Cost per kilowatt calculations in the first world assume that a high-voltage grid is already in place. Even with a high-voltage grid in place, solar and wind are close to parity with coal in many parts of the first world now. Lacking the high-voltage distribution, localized solar and wind - and biomass in some places - are overall at the advantage, because they can be used closer to where they're generated. Nobody puts a small coal-powered generator in their backyard, or next to their factory or hospital. On the other hand I have friends with solar in their backyard, and they live normal American lives with it, firing up gas generators only a few dark winter days a year. Most of the third world doesn't have dark winter days.

      • "Cost per kilowatt calculations in the first world assume that a high-voltage grid is already in place"

        Good point!

    • Actually, the total cost of a coal power-plant is in the ballpark of wind energy [wikipedia.org] as of 2013. That's the price _excluding_ the cost of carbon pollution. The price of coal will probably go up in the future, and wind will definitely continue to decrease in price. So it's really not such a big deal for the communities using the electricity. The policy will make it harder for the fossil-fuel lobby to get power-stations built that will buy their products for 50 years.
    • by Bengie (1121981)
      Lets not get these emerging nations hook on coal also. We're trying really hard to switch off of coal and our biggest issue is the amount of waste we have with energy in the first place. We're addicted to having large amounts of cheap power to drive our economy, but because we need that much power, but because we want to be able to leave our lights on all day long or place an electric heater into a cold room and crack the window open to get fresh air.
    • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

      It seems to me that the poorest, most underdeveloped nations that contribute the least to global emissions are the ones getting the short end of the stick from every policy ever.

      They are contributing least to global emissions, lets keep it that way.

      Yes, let's keep the poor nations in their proper place and deny them the advantages that cheap electricity will bring them. After all, the climate change that the 1st world countries won't have any impact on the 3rd world.

      Maybe a better approach would be for those countries who can afford something other than coal to shutdown their coal plants and for each one shutdown, the 3rd world countries can build one. That way there is no net increase in coal plants and the wealthy nations who can afford green energ

    • by jcr (53032)

      lets keep it that way.

      Sure, keep them in abject poverty. Why should you care?

      -jcr

  • Carbon is carbon (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LWATCDR (28044) on Wednesday October 30, 2013 @08:36AM (#45279281) Homepage Journal

    The poorest most underdeveloped countries will increase their carbon outputs the most unless they skip coal. Even if you buy into letting them do it today you are just setting them up to have replace that infrastructure later. If those countries have coal reserves the let them sell them to nations that already coal plants and use the money to buy cleaner technologies.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by SirGarlon (845873)
      Agreed, developing countries should go straight to nuclear power. Oh, wait a minute, that's not acceptable to the US either...
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by TWiTfan (2887093)

        "No, poor countries should just use their vast wealth and educated populace to build solar panel factories," says my dumbass hippie brother.

        • by geekoid (135745)

          Solar doesn't need vast wealth, or a lot of education.
          It doesn't need to be rolled out for gigawatt demand, so you can do one village at a time, and wiring and maintenance is simple enough that it can be taught in a couple of weeks.
          With the added bonus that it will create a need for trades people on a per village basis.

          Stop thinking in centralized creation for millions of people. The problem with solar in the US is that it's not good enough to give us the amount of energy we use in a centralized fashion.

          In

        • by timeOday (582209)
          The more obvious choice would be natural gas. In the US nobody is building new coal plants anyways, since natural gas is cheaper. Is natural gas renewable/sustainable? No. Is it carbon-free? No. And yet still it's a whole lot better than coal. Burning coal in todays' crowded world is like a skyscraper with an outhouse.
          • by cellocgw (617879)

            Burning coal in todays' crowded world is like a skyscraper with an outhouse.

            OTOH, if a skyscraper replaced all its toilets w/ outhouses, it'd have its own source of biomass for conversion to electricity!

    • I hope this decision is an enlightened set-up for a movement towards the thorium fuel cycle. - No weapons-grade fissible material and no shortage of the fuel anywhere.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        " No weapons-grade fissible material "
        no correct. The process is harder and require some pretty specific equipment, but you can get weapons grade material from a thorium plant.

    • Forcing them to skip coal could indeed be pretty fitting if it backfires on us. First world forces third world to not use the fossil fuels first world nations are addicted to. Third world countries become leaders in clean renewable energy. Those cheap manufacturing jobs and IT jobs that were outsourced there combine to make the third world a formidable economic and political force as the first world crumbles. Third world begins telling the US what's what. Demands we disarm all our nuclear weapons or fa
      • by geekoid (135745)

        whoa, back off.
        The 'people' who got us into this mess didn't know better, couldn't no better, had no other examples to lead with, and used the cheapest easiest source of energy. That lead to the building and advancement to the point where other countries can skip it.
        I have no blame for the people who started it, and a lot of general praise for them.
        If you are looking to take it out on someone,look to the people who refused to take action in the last 30 years.

        Start with Reagan. We would have an additional 20

        • by khallow (566160)

          Start with Reagan. We would have an additional 20 years of scientific gains of that asshat hadn't actively tried to shut down solar.

          That and $5 gets you a cup of coffee at Starbucks. In addition to the completely overrated "loss" you claim, we have some other observations that indicate it's complete bullshit. First, Reagan didn't actually stop US funded solar research, but merely reduced spending somewhat. Nor did he stop such research in either the private world or other governments' projects.

          Third, parallel work in related fields, such as development of scanning tunneling microscopes, still continued meaning that resumed research

    • There's a potential work around. They could build funded natural gas fired plants, then come back later and construct a coal to syn gas conversion plant. It's not ideal. Carbon emissions overall would likely be higher (thermodynamics being what it is). It requires water. But it gets you there and the most expensive bits (electrical generation plant and distribution infrastructure) can be funded by World Bank, etc.
    • by TheCarp (96830)

      > Even if you buy into letting them do it today

      Whoa there, set down the white man's burden for a second. Letting? are you their stern father now? Are they under your roof and going to play by your rules?

      This new restriction is on US Government funding. This is not about letting, its about helping. We have, and rightly so, little to no say in what they choose for themselves. We don't LET them do anything.

  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Wednesday October 30, 2013 @08:37AM (#45279287)

    Why would the US Treasury fund any power plants, anywhere? No wonder the US government and budget is in such a mess. WTF are these people doing?

    • by afidel (530433) on Wednesday October 30, 2013 @08:43AM (#45279363)

      Total US foreign aid is under 1% of the federal budget, if you remove the military aid that's largely corporate welfare it's quite literally a rounding error in the scope of the federal budget. You can buy a lot of power plants for the cost of one Afghanistan or Vietnam.

      • Spending twice as much on foreign aid as we do on NASA, outrageous!
      • by TWiTfan (2887093) on Wednesday October 30, 2013 @08:59AM (#45279583)

        It still fails to answer a fundamental question of why a country that can't even pay its own bills, and sinks deeper in debt every day should be spending ANY money on foreign aid. Do you really think anyone is going to be giving the U.S. foreign aid when *they* go bankrupt?

        • by geekoid (135745)

          And your post fails to mention the underlying question: Why do people who clearly don't understand US finance, the debt, and think we are going bankrupt continue to open there mouth and look like fools.
          I guess we will never know~

          You should actually spend some time learning those subjects instead of let the media tell you what to think.

        • by Valdrax (32670)

          It still fails to answer a fundamental question of why a country that can't even pay its own bills, and sinks deeper in debt every day should be spending ANY money on foreign aid.

          We'll skip the question of whether or not we can pay our bills since it's really a question of whether or not we will pay our bills.

          The reasons for foreign aid are many and varied. Investing in other countries builds good will, business relationships, and markets for US goods. Also, most foreign aid goes straight into purchasing products from us, making it more or less a roundabout way of subsidizing our own industries by artificially creating markets for them. There's also the general principle that for

    • by Sockatume (732728) on Wednesday October 30, 2013 @08:49AM (#45279435)

      It's financing, not funding. The US government, via the World Bank, provides a loan at an attractive interest rate to a foreign nation for specific projects, and makes a small return on the interest charged.

    • Why would the US Treasury fund any power plants, anywhere? No wonder the US government and budget is in such a mess. WTF are these people doing?

      You think they dish out foreign aid so we can all hold hands and sing kumbayah? Because Money = Influence, that's why. It allows us to influence how the votes go at the U.N., what communications passing through a nation's territory get tapped, what routes are available for U.S. military supply shipments, what policies on drugs or extradition get implemented in those countries.

      If America can't look in the mirror to examine itself, we'll use a foreign example. With China's increasing wealth has come increas

  • They were only going to spend the money on weapons as usual!
  • If they contribute the least to global emissions now, their development should take the form where they remain contributing little to global emissions. Hopefully more advanced nations will be able to reduce their dependency on coal in the meantime.

    • Perhaps they can go straight from 'subsistence agriculture' to 'high-tech clean economy', and skip the 'soot-belching factories and smog' stage that the now-developed world needed to pass through to reach that state.

  • So what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gravis777 (123605) on Wednesday October 30, 2013 @09:06AM (#45279681)

    It seems to me that the poorest, most underdeveloped nations that contribute the least to global emissions are the ones getting the short end of the stick from this policy

    So the World Bank provides money for wind, solar and hydro-electric. The only thing this really hurts is coal miners. Yes, I feel sorry for miners who may loose jobs because of decreased demand, but if a country's economy is based on coal-mining, then they got serious issues (of course, if they are the poorest, most undeveloped nations, they have economic problems anyways, so I guess that is a circular argument).

    This sounds pretty reasonable to me - the World Bank will fund power plants around the world, but they have to meet certain enviornmental standards? How does that hurt anyone?

    • by mobby_6kl (668092)

      What about all potential electricity users who won't get anything because everything except perhaps natural gas power plants are more expensive and the poor countries won't be able to afford as many of them?

      • by gravis777 (123605)

        Your own question is the answer.

        The World Bank will fund clean energy plants. Countries can build whatever they want - but if they choose to build coal, they won't get money from the World Bank.

        Sounds reasonable. Your country can pay for whatever it wants, but if you want money from us, you have to use it for a specific purpose.

  • Since scrubbers cost more than simpler systems, this helps ensure those who do build coal plants don't build clean ones.

    Nice gesture....

  • The person giving the charity gets to decide how the money is used. There is nothing wrong with this.

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