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PSR opposes World Bank funding of Kosovo coal plant

July 24, 2012

PSR recruited 17 distinguished physicians to sign a letter to the World Bank urging it not to finance construction of a new coal-fired power plant in Kosovo.  Noting that health costs associated with energy production are not included in the decision-making process, signers urged that the project be put on hold until the Bank had studied the health-related costs.

In a statement that reflects PSR’s years of work to reduce reliance on coal-fired power in the United States, the letter urged newly installed Bank president Dr. Jim Kim to prioritize public health in planning for the energy future of Kosovo.

While recognizing that developing countries need energy, the letter declared that, “From a health perspective, the use of coal (and lignite in particular) to generate electricity is the worst of the available options.”

The plant if built would burn lignite, a soft and highly polluting grade of coal.  Lignite is mined in Kosovo.

The letter was cosigned by PSR-affiliated doctors and like-minded colleagues at Harvard and from Canada and Kosovo.

Huffington Post with Sierra Club

In a related action, PSR board president Andrew Kanter, MD recently co-wrote a  statement with Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune calling on the World Bank to “make international coal development a relic of the past.”  The statement, which appeared in the Huffington Post, urged World Bank president Dr. Kim to advocate for an end to the Bank’s investment in new, uncontrolled coal-fired power plants around the world.

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