Environment Minister’s CO2 dilemma / News / The Foreigner

Environment Minister’s CO2 dilemma. Medupi power plant financing puts pressure on Solheim. Erik Solheim, the Socialist Left’s (SV) Minister of the Environment and International Development, has a potential multi-headed problem on his hands. He has to choose between progress and the environment, and has received conflicting advice.Greenhouse gases If Solheim agrees to further financing towards continued construction of Eskom’s Medupi coal-fired power station in South Africa, environmentally-conscious Norway will be contributing to an annual CO2 emission of over 26 million tons; almost half of 2008’s 54 million.

erik, solheim, environment, international, development, minster, medupi, coal, power, plant, south, africa, eskom, world, bank



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Environment Minister’s CO2 dilemma

Published on Thursday, 18th March, 2010 at 18:52 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

Medupi power plant financing puts pressure on Solheim.

Medupi power station construction
Medupi power station construction
Photo: Eskom


Erik Solheim, the Socialist Left’s (SV) Minister of the Environment and International Development, has a potential multi-headed problem on his hands. He has to choose between progress and the environment, and has received conflicting advice.

Greenhouse gases

If Solheim agrees to further financing towards continued construction of Eskom’s Medupi coal-fired power station in South Africa, environmentally-conscious Norway will be contributing to an annual CO2 emission of over 26 million tons; almost half of 2008’s 54 million.

“The power plant’s discharges are twice as high as Norwegian authorities have suggested cutting through the so-called “climate cure””, Elin Enge, the Forum for Environment and Development’s (ForUM) General Manager tells Dagsavisen.

Multiple dilemmas

If Solheim declines, however, South Africa will continue to suffer from a chronic and acute shortage of energy that will affect its economic development, in turn contributing to continued political unrest, poverty, and conflicts.

One of Solheim’s dilemmas is that the Norwegian Development Agency (NORAD) has argued for supporting the project, whilst the Ministry of the Environment has advised against it, according to the magazine Bistandsaktuelt published by NORAD.

In addition, several South African organisations have mobilised a broad campaign against further development for environmental reasons, which has received international support, despite the energy crisis.

“This is a dilemma that shows exactly what we face regarding development policy, weighing up the need for economic growth against a reduction in climate gas emissions,” says Arvinn Eikeland Gadgil, political advisor at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Delay

The World Bank was due to decide on whether or not to give the project another loan on 23 March, but has pushed it back to what is expected to be the beginning of next month.

These funds would come in addition to the support already given by Norway, prompted by the African Development Bank’s decision to lend 15 billion kroner at last year’s World Climate Summit in Copenhagen.

ForUM, together with several other organisations, have written to Solheim, asking him to try to get the World Bank’s Nordic-Baltic board representative to vote against further financing.

“Those who claim this matter is easy haven’t looked at it properly, Arvinn Eikeland Gadgil says.



Published on Thursday, 18th March, 2010 at 18:52 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: erik, solheim, environment, international, development, minster, medupi, coal, power, plant, south, africa, eskom, world, bank.





  
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