Once the new Tata Ultra Mega power plant in western India is fired up in 2012 and fully operational, it will become one of the world's 50 largest greenhouse-gas emitters. And the World Bank is helping make it possible.
A year after World Bank President Robert Zoellick pledged to "significantly step up our assistance" in fighting climate change, the development institution is increasing its financing of fossil-fuel projects around the globe.
The $4.14 billion, coal-powered Ultra Mega plant will emit more carbon dioxide annually than the nation of Tunisia, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The World Bank in April agreed to provide $450 million in loans and guarantees for the project and also may buy a $50 million stake in it.
"The World Bank's lending record does not match up to Zoellick's rhetoric," says Heike Mainhardt-Gibbs, a consultant to the Bank Information Center, a Washington watchdog group. "The institution is simply not ...