Greenpeace activists dressed as coal plant smokestacks block and picket the exit gate of the Asian Development Bank headquarters in Manila to protest the bank's 'financing climate change in Asia'. Greenpeace says ADB's Energy Portfolio Financing for the region focuses on 'dirty energy' specifically coal.
"For an organization whose stated goal is to reduce poverty in
the Asia Pacific region, the ADB's funding polices are nothing
short of grossly negligent," said Greenpeace Southeast Asia's
climate spokesperson Red Constantino at the protest.
"The ADB recognizes climate change is a reality yet in countries
like the Philippines it hypocritically diverts less than 0.1% of
its lending target towards renewable energy. Even more scandalous
is its continued attempt to categorize dirty energy like coal as
part of its miniscule renewable energy program. There is no such
thing as cheap coal, and clean coal is a myth," he said.
Of the ADB's entire Energy Portfolio Financing from 1966-2004,
only 1.82% went towards funding renewable energy and energy
efficiency.¹ The overwhelming majority of financing has been geared
towards fossil fuel power projects such as the Masinloc coal plant
in the Philippines and Southeast Asia's largest and most notorious
coal plant in Mae Moh, Thailand and currently funds are being
earmarked for newer plants like Map Ta Phut in Thailand. Since Mae
Moh began operations in 1955, 30 000 people have been displaced,
almost 200 killed and thousands suffer from respiratory problems
caused by inhalation and exposure to sulfur dioxide from the mine
and the power station.
"It is obscene that plants like these are some of the biggest
climate change culprits and yet billions of taxpayer dollars are
being used to finance dirty coal power projects like them across
Asia," said Greenpeace international's Athena Ronquillo.
According to Greenpeace, governments who have agreed to cut
greenhouse emissions are also being hooked into the very same
technologies that produce them through their relationships with
institutions like the World Bank (WB), the Japanese International
Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and Export Credit
Agencies (ECAs), whose priorities are locking them into an
unsustainable coal-led growth.
Clean alternatives to fossil fuel power in Asia are widely
available. In the Philippines enough wind power potential exists to
produce 7 times over the country's current energy demand. In the
Chinese province of Guangdong there exists sufficient wind power
potential to meet the equivalent of the current energy supply in
"Organizations like the ADB, along with the WB and JBIC, need to
stop fuelling the problem of climate change and start financing
cleaner, safer solutions. Greenpeace calls on International
Financing Institutions to commit to a 20% renewable energy target
for power project lending annually. They need to come clean on
dirty energy," concluded Ronquillo.
Greenpeace is an independent campaigning organisation that uses
non-violent creative confrontation to expose global environmental
problems to force solutions that are essential to a green and
Other contacts: Red Constantino, Regional Energy campaigner, +63 917 524 1123Athena Ronquillo, Greenpeace International Energy Campaigner + 63 9178131 562Michael Kessler, Greenpeace International Communications + 63 915 945 0066
VVPR info: John Novis, Greenpeace International Photo Editor +31 6 53 81 91 21
Notes: 1. From the World Alliance for Decentralised Energy report, Banking on Decentralised Energy: International FinancialInstitutions and Cogeneration, March 20052. From the report, Wind Guangdong, see: www.asiacleanenergy.org