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MPs are right: UK must push the World Bank to clean up its act

June 29 2011 - MPs’ demand for the UK to withhold money from the World Bank unless it stops financing new, dirty coal power stations is extremely welcome, says Christian Aid, commenting on a report by the Environmental Audit Committee.

‘We are delighted with this report,’ said Alison Doig, Christian Aid’s Climate Change Adviser. ‘As MPs say, it’s high time the UK used its power as a major World Bank shareholder to push the Bank to clean up its act in poor countries.

‘Bank lending to coal power stations hit a record high of $4.4 billion in 2010 and is a recipe for disaster. It fuels climate change and locks poor countries into dirty power for decades to come – while doing little or nothing for people living in poverty.

‘Poor families around the world need clean sources of energy to power their lights, cook their food and heat their water – not filthy power stations which often bypass their homes altogether.’

Dr Doig added: ‘So far, the government has been very unclear about where it stands on using aid money to fund coal and other fossil-fuelled power stations. It has said it would support it under some circumstances.

‘We need a much stronger signal that the UK will not allow our aid to be used to support dirty fossil fuels and that we will instead support funds helping poor countries to leapfrog to renewable technologies which actually deliver energy to people living in poverty.’

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If you would like further information please contact Rachel Baird on 0207 523 2446 or rbaird@christian-aid.org

Notes to Editors:

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in nearly 50 countries. We act where the need is greatest, regardless of religion, helping people build the lives they deserve.

2. Christian Aid has a vision, an end to global poverty, and we believe that vision can become a reality. Our report, Poverty Over, explains what we believe needs to be done – and can be done – to end poverty.  Details at http://www.christianaid.org.uk/Images/poverty-over-report.pdf

3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of 100 churches and church-related organisations that work together inhumanitarian assistance and development.  Further details at http://www.actalliance.org

4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire

5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit www.christianaid.org.uk