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Development bank misleads on climate

Environmental and human rights groups branded today the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as a "leading world emitter of climate hypocrisy" for issuing calls for clean energy investments to fight global warming while extending massive funding support for dirty mega coal projects in Asia.


MEDIA ADVISORY

Friends of the Earth International

NGO Forum on the ADB
May 5, 2008



ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK’ S CLIMATE HYPOCRISY DENOUNCED


MADRID (SPAIN), MAY 5, 2008 -- Environmental and human rights groups
branded today the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as a "leading world emitter
of climate hypocrisy" for issuing calls for clean energy investments to fight global warming while extending massive funding support for dirty mega coal projects in Asia.

The ADB, which is holding its 41st annual meeting in Madrid May 3-6, has been criticized for its ‘Long-Term Strategic Framework’ by some developing countries as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for failing to prioritize sustainable agricultural development and effective measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change. [1]

"Commercially viable and sustainable energy solutions are ready to be deployed in Asia yet the ADB's money is going to monstrous coal projects such as the 4,000-MW Mundra Ultra Mega coal power project of the Indian corporate giant Tata," said Red Constantino, executive director of the bank watchdog ‘NGO Forum on the ADB’. [2]

"The ADB is just a giant Asian smokestack spewing gigatons of climate nonsense," Constantino said.

The ADB executed a loan agreement in April for a $450 million loan to Coastal Gujarat Power Limited (CGPL). The CGPL consortium is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Power, the largest private power utility in India. Tata Power is part of the global Tata Group conglomerate, which recently acquired luxury car brand Jaguar Land Rover.

Asia’s share of global greenhouse gas emissions is anticipated to grow to 42 percent by 2030. Currently, coal produces around 42 percent of Asia's CO2 emissions each year.

The ADB is also gearing up to channel more funds towards the expansion of
large scale mono-culture plantations. Globally, mono-cultures are increasingly used to grow crops for fuels, not food.

In the great Mekong sub-region, the ADB already finances biofuel projects.
Large scale biofuels, or agrofuels, are seen as a key factor behind the current global food prices crisis.

"Agrofuels are not part of the solution to climate change, they are part of the problem. They mean more damaging industrial-scale monoculture plantations. Agrofuel production often takes over land used for food production, and agrofuel plantations displace entire peasant and indigenous communities merely to provide people in industrialized countries with fuels which are far from green," said Friends of the Earth
International campaigner Longgena Ginting.

FOR MORE INFORMATION IN MADRID:

Red Constantino, executive director, ' NGO Forum on the ADB'
Tel: +63-9175241123 (Philippines mobile number)

Longgena Ginting, Friends of the Earth International campaigner:

Tel: + 316 42811585 (Dutch mobile number)

NOTES TO EDITORS:

[1] The ADB’ s ‘Long-Term Strategic Framework’ can be found on the ADB
website:
http://www.adb.org/media/articles/2008/12452-indian-electricities-projects/ An article on this issue can be found on the IPS news agency website online here: http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=42226

 

[2] The Philippines-based ‘NGO Forum on the ADB’ has been monitoring ADB operations since 1992. It is the largest network of civil society groups and community organizations in Asia.

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