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Collective Statement For the Energy Sector Strategy Update

From the outset, we want to be clear: we are present here for the purposes of conveying our collective denunciation of this online consultation. In no way do we consider this as a meaningful space for the expression of diverse civil society groups’ concerns related to the AIIB’s energy sector investments.

From our perspectives, the period of public consultation should be considered a pivotal moment in the process of the Energy Sector Strategy update – not simply a tick-box exercise – most especially in light of the current context of compounded geopolitical, socio-economic, health, environmental, water and climate crises being experienced by populations across Asia and the Pacific, the Levant, Latin America, and Africa. Today we are therefore taking the opportunity to reiterate and reaffirm the calls made both in writing as well as during the AIIB’s ESS Update Information Session webinar last February, urging the Bank to provide assurances of an accountable, inclusive and transparent revision process by:

  • scheduling online interactive discussion sessions held in different time zones and languages;

  • engaging in focussed discussions with civil society groups on specific types of project related concerns as well in country-specific contexts where AIIB energy sector investments have been most concentrated to date;

  • posting translated draft texts of the proposed Energy Sector Strategy Update in major languages of regional and non-regional members;

  • accepting written input in major languages of member countries;

  • providing transparent and clear language on the applicability of the Energy Sector Strategy to non-regional member states; and

  • proactively responding to the range of concerns civil society groups have brought forward about the risk of reprisals experienced by outspoken community members in project affected areas.

We have yet to receive a response from the AIIB addressing these points directly.

As the project specific decisions made in the energy sector have significant long term repercussions for the future of people, economies and the environment across borrowing member countries, it is imperative for the Bank to engage in a transparent, inclusive, publicly accountable process for updating its strategic framework guiding future energy investments. Indeed, many of us have joined meetings in the past when we raised project-specific concerns about the AIIB’s recent and proposed investments in the energy sector, including mega-dams, gas power projects, and toxic waste-to-energy incineration technologies, explaining how they can end up implicated in human rights violations and undermining global climate ambitions.

It is in this light that we refuse to consider this session today as a space for genuine, meaningful, inclusive discussions.

If the AIIB management is serious about financing innovative, appropriately scaled renewable energy solutions and avoiding becoming branded as a laggard, we urge you to ensure the institution's investments neither undermine the spirit and aspirations of the Paris Agreement nor global ambitions for just energy transitions. Pursuing this way forward, however, would require a willingness to meaningfully engage, listen and take into account the views of communities and civil society groups raising questions about the AIIB’s current and prospective energy portfolio. It is in this context that we refuse to remain silent. Having provided you with this background, we are withdrawing from this platform today, in a position of collective denunciation.


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