Environmentalists claim a barrage of legal challenges pose a risk to new independent coal projects and may deter banks from financing them. SA banks will not confirm whether they will or will not fund the power plants in question, Thabametsi and Khanyisa. But on Wednesday energy analyst and MD of EE Publishers Chris Yelland reported "it has been reliably learned" that Standard Bank had advised the director-general of the department of energy, Thabane Zulu, of the bank’s new position to stop funding the construction of any new coal-fired power plants, in line with new Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development country protocols. The department did not comment on the matter. Standard Bank spokesperson Ross Linstrom could not comment on specific transactions due to client confidentiality protocols, but said that all transactions were in line with the company’s commitment "to balance Africa’s economic development and energy needs with climate change mitigation and adaptation...

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