AFDB declines to fund Lamu coal power plant project

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The African Development Bank (AFDB) will not fund a coal-fired power plant project in Kenya and has no plans to finance new coal plants in future, as reported by Reuters.

The Abidjan-based lender published an environmental and social impact assessment in May for the Lamu project, which was planned near a UNESCO world heritage site but which was halted by a local environmental tribunal.

The project to build a 1,050 Megawatt plant in Eastern Kenya was backed by Kenyan and Chinese investors. Construction was initially planned to start in 2015.

Dozens of top banks, insurers and development finance institutions are restricting coal investments, as climate activists and investors voice growing concerns about the impact of burning fossil fuels, particularly coal.

AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina told Reuters at a conference in South Africa that the bank took environmental concerns seriously and was focusing on renewable energy, adding that coal projects risked becoming “stranded assets” on the AfDB’s balance sheet.