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CSO Coalition Urges Asian Development Bank (ADB) to Stop Funding False ClimateSolutions Projects

Joint Press Release

WALHI, Solidaritas Perempuan, and Aksi! for Gender, Social and Ecological Justice

Jakarta, May 8, 2024 - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) recently held its 57th Annual Meeting in Tbilisi, Georgia on May 2-5, 2024. Approximately 4000 participants attended from various sectors including ADB leadership, ADB member country delegations, and representatives of civil society organizations from various countries. Civil society representatives from various countries, especially Asia and the Pacific, were present to urge ADB to strengthen safeguard policies and stop funding large-scale projects that cause environmental damage, exacerbate the climate crisis, and violate human rights.

Recently, ADB declared itself as the Climate Bank for Asia and the Pacific based on claims of success in climate adaptation and mitigation projects in various countries. ADB's claim as a bank with a strong commitment to climate action contradicts the reality of the impacts presented, especially by indigenous and local communities, as well as women's groups. Local communities, indigenous peoples, and civil society organizations have presented evidence of the adverse impacts caused by ADB projects. These losses include environmental and climate impacts, loss of livelihoods, and erosion of socio-cultural values. ADB's safeguard policies have failed to prevent these impacts without adequately addressing the grievances of affected communities.

WALHI, Solidaritas Perempuan, and Aksi! for Gender, Social and Ecological Justice evaluated that the ADB 2024 Annual Meeting showed no commitment to environmental protection and human rights, including women's rights. This is evident from the continued influx of debt for false climate solution projects, which prioritize investments in environmentally and socially unsustainable energy and transportation projects, resulting in climate injustice and gender inequality.

Projects like these include geothermal projects in Indonesia, the Energy Transition Mechanism (ETM) for Indonesia, the Philippines, and Pakistan, and in various other developing countries, which have demonstrated environmental destruction and human rights violations, even exacerbating greenhouse gas emissions.

The failure of geothermal projects is evident in projects such as the Muara Laboh Geothermal Power Plant in West Sumatra, the Ulumbu Poco Leok Geothermal Power Plant in East Nusa Tenggara, and others, which have shown impacts such as forced land acquisition, river destruction leading to crop failure, health threats from gas, destruction of water sources, air and water pollution, loss of livelihoods, and increased intensity of ecological disasters such as floods. For women, the presence of geothermal projects has different impacts due to their gender roles, where the destruction of their livelihoods can increase the burden on women, reproductive health disorders, and even militaristic approaches by the state leading to long-term trauma and mental disorders for women and children.

Download Press Release here.


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