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AIIB formally established, civil society still concerned safeguards lack binding requirements for assessments

"The China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) formally came into existence on January 16…But many environmental groups are concerned that the bank’s draft Environmental and Social Framework document… lacks detail and firm commitments to sustainable lending. They call for rules on lending to be made more explicit and for improved consultation with local people."

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Article
26 January 2016

Pressure mounts on AIIB for greater clarity on green lending

Author: Liu Qin, China Dialogue

Yu Xiaogang of Chinese NGO Green Watershed told chinadialogue: “…[A]t present there are no binding requirements to carry out environmental or social impact assessments before projects start…

Critics say that without stringent standards on what the AIIB deems to be ‘sustainable’, the bank could end up spending hundreds of billions of dollars on projects that will be a major source of greenhouse gases, pollution and deforestation for decades to come…Yu said that the AIIB needs to implement additional measures  to ensure greater transparency and accountability. This should “apply project-by-project ,” and will benefit the future development of the bank…

Lowell Chow, East Asia researcher at the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, said Asia urgently needs better infrastructure, but the bank’s legitimacy will ultimately be judged by its environmental and social record…

So far, more than 200 NGOs and 11 independent experts have commented on the AIIB draft.

…Greenovation Hub said that although the AIIB’s draft framework adopts the project categories usually applied by international financial bodies, its actual management measures and standards are more lax. Specifically, for projects in Category A – those which may have major cumulative and irreversible negative environmental and social impacts – project developers simply need to submit full documentation. There are no binding requirements to carry out environmental or social impact assessments for projects in Category B. “This may lead to many high-risk Category B projects being approved without full assessments of environmental and social risk,” Greenovation Hub added...[mentions PricewaterhouseCoopers]

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Author: 刘琴, 中外对话

…” 环保组织绿色流域负责人于晓刚告诉中外对话,草案涵盖面广,但深度不够,“在制度上可能会给亚投行留下环境风险空间”。

这份长达38页的草案提出,亚投行将会在今后的业务中“确保环境与社会的完好无损,以及行动的可持续性”。 并且,它还支持“将业务开展中的环境与社会因素整合到各方参与的决策过程中”。

企业责任资源中心大中华地区高级研究员周龙炜告诉中外对话,亚洲迫切需要改善基础设施,但决定该银行合法性和声誉最重要的因素将是它在社会和环境领域的表现。如果运营顺利,亚投行的投资将创造大量工作岗位,并为中国和其他创始成员国赢得尊重。

但于晓刚认为,无论是草案的磋商程序,还是内容构成方面,亚投行都需要建立更加公开透明的信息披露机制、更加严格的问责机制等,“而且要披露到项目层次”,这有利于亚投行未来的发展…

绿色流域项目官员陈香雪告诉中外对话,至少已经有14份书面意见提交到亚投行,其中有些是NGO联署意见, 200余家NGO和 11个独立专家对草案提出了意见…

创绿中心认为,草案虽遵循了国际金融机构的惯例,但在具体管理手段和标准上却不如国际惯例严格。具体表现在,对可能给环境和社会造成累 积性且不可逆的严重影响的A类项目,亚投行仅要求客户提供全面的文件。B类项目没有在环境和社会影响评价方面有强制性要求,“这就有可能导致许多高风险的 B类项目在没有充分环境和社会影响评估的情况下得到批准。”…

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Author: 劉琴, 中外對話

…”環保組織綠色流域負責人於曉剛告訴中外對話,草案涵蓋面廣,但深度不夠,“在製度上可能會給亞投行留下環境風險空間”。

這份長達38頁的草案提出,亞投行將會在今後的業務中“確保環境與社會的完好無損,以及行動的可持續性”。並且,它還支持“將業務開展中的環境與社會因素整合到各方參與的決策過程中”。

企業責任資源中心大中華地區高級研究員周龍煒告訴中外對話,亞洲迫切需要改善基礎設施,但決定該銀行合法性和聲譽最重要的因素將是它在社會和環境領域的表現。如果運營順利,亞投行的投資將創造大量工作崗位,並為中國和其他創始成員國贏得尊重。

但於曉剛認為,無論是草案的磋商程序,還是內容構成方面,亞投行都需要建立更加公開透明的信息披露機制、更加嚴格的問責機制等,“而且要披露到項目層次”,這有利於亞投行未來的發展…

綠色流域項目官員陳香雪告訴中外對話,至少已經有14份書面意見提交到亞投行,其中有些是NGO聯署意見, 200餘家NGO和11個獨立專家對草案提出了意見…

創綠中心認為,草案雖遵循了國際金融機構的慣例,但在具體管理手段和標准上卻不如國際慣例嚴格。具體表現在,對可能給環境和社會造成累積性且不可逆的嚴重影響的A類項目,亞投行僅要求客戶提供全面的文件。 B類項目沒有在環境和社會影響評價方面有強制性要求,“這就有可能導致許多高風險的B類項目在沒有充分環境和社會影響評估的情況下得到批准。”…

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