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Amid Energy Talk at UN, Qs of Kosovo Coal, BofA Coal Mining, Solar Sahel

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 5 -- When US Ambassador for International Energy Affairs Carlos Pasqual appeared at the UN on June 5, he promoted the Obama administration's decision to not fund or vote for new coal projects outside of the US, with certain exceptions.

  Inner City Press asked Pascual about the Kosovo lignite coal project pending at the World Bank

  Pascual said there is “no conclusion yet on Kosovo,” and so did not address it.

  To his co-panelist Adnan Amin of IRENA, Inner City Press asked of UN Sahel envoy Romano Prodi's proposal that the Sahelian desert should be turned into a solar energy farm. Amin acknowledged there is not enough inter-connectivity or transmission lines, and he said that demand in Europe is not growing.

  In another Sustainable Energy for All press conference earlier on June 5, Inner City Press asked Andris Piebalgs, European Union Commissioner for Development International Energy Affairs, about funding the Grand Inga dam in the Democratic Republic of the Congo -- what is the benefit to average Congolese?

  He spoke of environmental review and compensatory measures. His co-panelist Kandeh Yumkella of #SE4ALL said energy for mines in South Africa is important too.

  Yumkella, like most of the material passed out at the SE4ALL events, promoted Bank of America. But that company is protest for funding mountain-top removal coal mining. What does Ambassador Pascual think of that?

Footnote: Questions were limited due to the UN Correspondents Association representative - not president Pamela Falk, who didn't come to any of these events, to the stated displeasure of her replacement -- insisting on getting the first question, whether or not they will report anything about these meetings. The same UNCA representative earlier on June 5 asked about “UN peacekeepers” in Burundi when there are none. Why the first question on this basis? The Free UN Coalition for Access opposes this. Watch this site.


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