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Rich Nations Offer Debt Guarantees on South African Climate Deal

  • South Africa has begun talks on $8.5 billion financing deal
  • Questions around how the money will be distributed remain
Emissions from the chimney of a coal-fired power station in Mpumalanga, South Africa.

Emissions from the chimney of a coal-fired power station in Mpumalanga, South Africa.

Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

A group of the world’s richest nations offered South Africa debt guarantees as part of a proposed $8.5 billion deal designed to cut the nation’s reliance on coal for power generation, people familiar with the talks said, potentially resolving one sticking point in the negotiations. 

The guarantees would enable South Africa or companies such as state power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. to borrow money needed to close down coal-fired power plants and enable the generation of renewable energy, one of the people said. The people asked not to be identified as the talks aren’t public.