Greenpeace assails JBIC: Stop loan aid for dirty incinerators!

Press release - May 21, 2001
Greenpeace today stormed the headquarters of one of the world’s largest financial institutions, Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) on Ratchadamri road in Bangkok, Thailand to demand for the cancellation of loans towards dioxin producing incinerators in the country.

Greenpeace today stormed the headquarters of one of the world's largest financial institutions, Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) on Ratchadamri road in Bangkok, Thailand to demand for the cancellation of loans towards dioxin producing incinerators in the country.

Marking global anti-incineration day and coinciding with the opening of the PoPs Diplomatic Conference in Stockholm, Greenpeace activists unfurled a huge 10 X 10 meter banner on the facade of the JBIC building bearing the message: "Japan: Dioxin Pusher. Stop Incineration!" Simultaneously, Greenpeace members joined by community representatives from Klong Dan, and Klong Toey marched towards the building entrance with placards that mimic the logo of Japanese ODA and JBIC. The placards carried messages that refer to Japan's track record in funding environmentally disastrous projects such as: "Japan Bank for Incineration Companies", "Japan Bank for Increasing Cancer" and "Japan Official Destruction and Alienation".

"Greenpeace demands that JBIC, as the largest source of public funding for projects in the South immediately cancel all plans related to financing dirty projects such as the Solid Waste Management Project at On-Nuch which includes incineration. Japan should instead reorient its lending portfolio and help Thailand to shift its industrial sector towards clean production practices", says Tara Buakamsri, Toxics Campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

Japan is the largest source of loan aid for many projects in industrializing countries. In 1999, JBIC made 36 official development assistance (ODA) loan commitments equivalent to 4.8 billion USD in Southeast Asia alone. "The cost of incinerators in Japan have increased over ten years amounting to more than 6 - 8 billion USD/year. If every developing country follows Japan's path, then we will use up all available funds for development assistance," says Ayako Sekine, Toxics campaigner for Greenpeace Japan.

"Incinerators are costly end-of- pipe solutions to the worsening waste problem. It is not only expensive, it also produces toxic emissions in the form of dioxin, known to be fatal to human health. We ask the government to take the leap now to cleaner and more sustainable alternatives that do not generate hazardous substances," added Buakamsri.

Apart from the On-Nuch project, JBIC was also involved in the controversial MaeMoh coal power project, is co-financing the Samut Prakarn Wastewater Treatment Project and is considering to fund the Hin Krood Coal-Fired Power Plant.

"We refuse to play host to dirty technologies funded by institutions like JBIC who have no regard whatsoever for community rights and the environment. Our wish is to be kept free from toxic pollution for the sake of our families and future generations," stressed Mr. Wanlop Hirikul of the KlongToey Environmental Group.

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