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Collective Civil Society Statement on ESF Draft:
Calling for an Overhaul and immediate redrafting


After two years of engaging in the formal ADB review consultation process, during which we collectively sought to consistently raise critical concerns and provide formal inputs to the ADB's Office of Safeguards in good faith, we would have expected to see these recommendations meaningfully reflected in the outcome document. Indeed, this was the reason why we attended online and in-person meetings with ADB’s safeguard staff, calling for a forward-looking policy rewrite that would require all financing flows to adhere to a binding framework underpinned by an unequivocal commitment to uphold international human and environmental rights.


As the 2023 Annual Meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) commences, the Forum Network recognizes this moment as a crucial opportunity to shed light on the critical issues of AIIB's transparency, accountability, and meaningful engagement. These concerns have been consistently at the forefront of our agenda in previous years.

In our unwavering commitment to advancing our mission, we introduce the 'AIIB Observer,' a newspaper tabloid designed to highlight the stories of communities directly impacted by AIIB-funded projects. Our central aim with this tabloid is to provide a platform for the voices that often remain unheard – the voices of community members who have shouldered the burdens imposed by AIIB's development vision. Through the 'AIIB Observer,' we endeavor to convey these communities' struggles, challenges, and unfortunate experiences to AIIB's leadership, the media, and the broader public.

Within the 'AIIB Observer pages,' you will discover a compelling collection of stories, each shedding light on a specific project. These stories encompass diverse regions and projects, including the Bhola IPP in Bangladesh, the Bangalore Metro Rail Project, the Cambodia PRASAC COVID-19 Crisis Recovery Facility, the Cambodia Emergency and Crisis Response Facility, the Everbright Infrastructure Investment Fund II, and the Unique Meghnaghat 584MW Combined Cycle Power Plant.

We firmly believe that the narratives showcased in the 'AIIB Observer' will serve as a potent instrument in furthering our advocacy efforts against the adverse consequences wrought by AIIB-funded initiatives.


The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is a major financial institution in the Asia-Pacific region headquartered in the Philippines, with Japan and the USA as its main shareholders. The bank recognizes the severity of climate change consequences in Asia and advocates for transitioning to clean energy to combat it.

ADB is set to present itself as a regional climate bank at its 2024 annual meeting, showcasing the Energy Transition Mechanism (ETM), aimed at phasing out coal-fired power plants in Asia. However, criticism arises, suggesting that the ETM might actually benefit fossil fuel companies and fail to address the root issues.

Several coal phase-out mechanisms, including ADB's ETM, are in draft stages, with Southeast Asia being a key focus. However, civil society organizations express concerns about the lack of preventive measures in the ETM and its potential to reward environmentally harmful companies.

Criticism extends to ADB's past investments in coal-fired power plants, despite claims of transitioning away from fossil fuels. The bank's revised energy policy still allows support for fossil fuel-related projects, creating inconsistency and undermining its stated goals.

The paper calls for ADB to exclude financing for the coal industry, prioritize renewable energy, and adhere to the "polluters pay" principle by covering the damage caused.

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