US skips vote on Eskom loan

The US has abstained on the vote by the World Bank's board of directors on the proposed Eskom loan of $3,75billion (R27,2billion).

The US has abstained on the vote by the World Bank's board of directors on the proposed Eskom loan of $3,75billion (R27,2billion).

The Treasury said last night that this reflected concerns about the climate impact of the project and its incompatibility with the World Bank's commitment to be a leader in climate change mitigation and adaptation.

"At the same time, the US recognises South Africa's pressing energy needs and the lack of near-term feasible low-carbon alternatives."

The Treasury added that SA and the region faced urgent energy needs to promote economic growth and address critical challenges.

"We recognise that South Africa faces limited options that could provide the required energy base for South Africa and the region in lieu of the project, and that there is a lack of alternative private financing options in the wake of the financial crisis."

However, the Treasury said the US was concerned about the project since it would produce significant greenhouse gas emissions, and uncertainty remained about future mitigation efforts. - Sapa

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