Greenpeace calls for energy revolution at the ADB

Feature story - June 21, 2006
There is a need for the Asian Development Bank to make a difference in saving Asia from the impacts of climate change, it must phase out coal and fossil fuels from its financing package and exclusively adopt a 100% renewables portfolio for the energy sector.

The Message is Clear: Greenpeace activists register their protest against the ADB's funding of dirty coal project by projecting slogans like this one during a dinner hosted by the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh for ADB delegates in Hyderabad.

Greenpeace today called on the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to spearhead the global energy revolution by advocating stronger, more ambitious renewable energy policies and targets among its developing member nations The environment group also urged the ADB to stop bankrolling dirty energy projects which exacerbate the dangerous impacts of climate change.

Greenpeace International Executive Director Gerd Leipold, on a visit to Manila, said the bank must take the lead in demonstrating to Asia that national policies must take into account the risks posed by the impacts of climate change to the region's economies and the urgency of energy security in order to promote the massive uptake of renewable energy.

During its Annual Governors Meeting in May, the ADB announced a $ 1 billion clean energy fund by 2008. However, said Dr Leipold, "the Bank has yet to prove that this funding is new, that it is additional, that it is going to displace future fossil fuel lending, and that it is solely dedicated to new renewable energy (1) and energy efficiency projects. We are concerned that clean coal and other palliative technologies like carbon capture are included in the menu of technologies as 'clean energy'. If this is so, then this much heralded clean energy fund is a hoax."

ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda told the opening of ADB's Clean Energy Week today: "No region in the world is as critical to future climate change as Asia. Climate change is a reality that we can no longer ignore and one that we have to take immediate action to mitigate and adapt to."

"The ADB has put forth strong policy declarations on climate change and the need for sustainable energy alternatives due to pressure from increasing protests across the region. Yet, it continues to push for polluting fossil fuel projects. Its addiction to coal puts the very development goals of the bank at great risk even as it negates the ADB's first steps towards addressing climate change, " Dr Leipold added. Leipold slammed the Bank's intention to fund the expansion by 400-MW of the scandal-infested 600-MW Masinloc coal plant in the Philippine province of Zambales and the 1,434-MW coal power behemoth in Map Ta Phut, Thailand as "the height of hypocrisy."

"Greenpeace believes that for the ADB to make a difference in saving Asia from the impacts of climate change, it must phase out coal and fossil fuels from its financing package and exclusively adopt a 100% renewables portfolio for the energy sector," said Dr Leipold, who is due to speak at the ADB-organized clean energy conference.

Leading scientists in the region projected the impacts of climate change to exacerbate conditions of poverty in Asia, due particularly to the expected increase in extreme precipitation and prolonged severe drought, flooding, forest fires, rising sea levels and an increase in tropical cyclones. (2)

Notes: (1) The Greenpeace definition of new renewable energy excludes 'clean' coal and consists only of wind, solar PV and solar thermal, modern biomass, small hydro, wave, tidal, and geothermal. (2) Greenpeace released a report in Hyderabad, India during the 39th Annual General Meeting of the ADB entitled "Irrelevance or Leadership: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Climate Change." See:

Access the groundbreaking Greenpeace climate science report 'Crisis or opportunity: Climate Change and the Philippines' released in November 2005 and authored by renowned meteorologist and former PAGASA chief Dr. Leoncio Amadore. The report can be downloaded via

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