Asian Development Bank announces $1 billion Clean Energy Fund: Not enough, says Greenpeace.
Hyderabad, 06 May 2006: As a direct result of intense campaigning by Greenpeace and the Solar Generation during the 39th Annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank, the ADB today announced a "pipeline of clean energy projects worth $1 billion by the year 2008." Greenpeace acknowledged the Bank's announcement as a small symbolic step in the right direction that would be meaningless unless the ADB quits funding coal projects outright, and sets binding, ambitious targets with developing countries towards massive uptake of renewable energy and energy efficiency.
"The bank may have blinked, but what the planet really needs is decisive leadership," pointed out K. Srinivas, Clean Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace India, "One billion dollars is a lot of money , but the initiative will remain weak until present government policies and market conditions correct their heavy bias towards fossil fuels. Setting aside a pot of money is different from ensuring that it is actually used for sustainable energy solutions. The $1 billion fund will make a difference only if the share of coal and fossil fuels in the Bank's energy portfolio is phased out. That would be real leadership."
The Bank's next Annual Meeting -- its 40th -- coincides with the 10th anniversary of the Kyoto Protocol, and as Laetitia Demarez, Climate Campaigner, Greenpeace France said, "There is no better time to force links between finance, climate policy and energy policy. We have forced the ADB to challenge the wisdom of business as usual. We have revealed the true face of the bank to its own governors. Some donor members of the ADB have now begun to push the bank to exercise leadership. The question now is, how will the Bank respond?"
Over the past five days, the Bank has remained apathetic towards coal-impacted community representatives demanding that the bank take responsibility for the impacts of its projects. "These communities will leave Hyderabad outraged by the fact that despite an audience with President Kuroda and promises of addressing health, environmental and social concerns, this Bank remains a cold-blooded, coal-hearted institution," said Tara Buakamsri, Climate and Energy campaigner, Greenpeace South-East Asia.
"The road to climate protection must be marked by milestones, which international financing institutions such as the ADB can provide. Right now there appear to be none. Worse, the bank's proclamations are being negated by their disgraceful addiction to dirty energy and propagation of 'clean coal', which is nothing but a scam," added K Srinivas.
Over 800 cyberactivists have participated in a cyberaction against the ADB, launched by Greenpeace to coincide with the AGM. Greenpeace is demanding that the ADB shift all funding away from coal and towards a 100 percent renewable and energy efficiency target.
Greenpeace is an independent campaigning organisation that uses non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems, and to force solutions essential to a green and peaceful future.
1. See Annexure ? Y-Red! (Youth Renewable Energy Declaration) by Solar Generation - International
2. The energy sector portfolio for 2007 and 2008 is derived with the assumption that lending from 2000 to 2008 is $850 million annually. Total assumed lending from the energy sector is $7.65 billion from 2000 to 2008. With this assumed lending volume, Greenpeace estimates that the bank's 1 billion clean energy fund is equivalent to 13.1%.
3. See annexure 'Renewable Energy Champions from Donor Member Countries'