Before Christmas, environmental groups called foul on the World Bank for even considering a proposal to finance a new coal-fired power plant in Mongolia. Funding Rio Tinto‘s Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine project, which also includes a 750 megawatt coal plant, was out of line with the Bank’s stated concern that the world is heading to devastating and irreversible climate consequences. Rio Tinto has asked the World Bank Group’s private funding arm, International Finance Corporation, for part of the money needed to start construction on the project. The IFC argues that poor nations need energy, that the World Bank is increasingly shifting its focus toward renewables, and that renewable energy can’t meet all of Mongolia’s needs.
For other recent documentation on Rio Tinto’s Oyu Tolgoi Copper/Silver/Gold Mine Project, see