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South Africa set to abandon new coal as banks withdraw

Environmental activism has proved key in derailing state plans to develop more coal-fired power stations

South Africa’s big four banks have been reluctant to rule out funding new coal-fired power plants, but activists have exerted sufficient pressure to scupper plans for two mooted facilities, and the prospects of other schemes coming to fruition seem dim. South Africa is the world’s 14th-largest emitter of carbon dioxide, producing just under 500mn t in 2019, according to data provider Statista, with coal accounting for 84pc of state utility Eskom’s installed electricity capacity. The government set binding targets to cut installed coal capacity but had also announced plans for new privately owned coal-fired power plants. The government approved proposals to build two such plants, but in lat

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