S.African investors exit local coal project on climate concerns

(Reuters, 9 Nov 2020) Government says it is reliant on coal to boost generation capacity at state-owned power utility Eskom following years of shortages and blackouts.

South African investors have pulled out of a local multi-billion dollar coal-fired power plant project, putting its construction at risk as opposition to the use of fossil-fuels in the country grows despite crippling power shortages.

Across the world, investors are coming under increasing pressure to ditch coal, the most polluting of fossil fuels, and switch to greener energy.

The latest exits from the 630 megawatt (MW) Thabametsi coal-based power plant project in the water-scarce northern Limpopo province follow the withdrawal last month of South Korea's state-run Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO), and South Africa's big four banks last year after they were targeted by environmental activists.

Africa's biggest CO2 emitter and one of the world's top-ten coal producers had pledged to reduce emissions by more than one third by this year under the Copenhagen Accord by retiring numerous coal plants and intensifying renewable energy investments.

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Reuters, 9 Nov 2020: S.African investors exit local coal project on climate concerns