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11 Nov 2015

Matt Kennard & Claire Provost, Guardian (UK)

Indian fishermen & farmers sue Intl. Finance Corp. in US over environmental damage from power plant

“Fishermen and farmers sue World Bank lending arm over power plant in India”, 10 Nov 2015

In the first case of its kind against the private investment arm of the World Bank, fishermen and farmers from north-western India are suing the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in a US federal court over a $450m loan for a coal-fired power plant.  The communities say the IFC has “destroyed their livelihoods” by reducing fish stocks and damaging the environment…[T]he IFC says the complaint…“must be dismissed in its entirety” because the IFC is entitled to immunity…“What are they afraid of?” asks Kristen Genovese, from [SOMO]…“you can sue your government, you can sue corporations. Why can’t you sue the Bank? Why is it above the law? You need to have checks and balances.”  At the moment…“the entire World Bank group essentially plays by its own rules”…In 2008, [the IFC] announced a $450m loan for the…“ultra mega power plant”…The project was billed as critical to providing cheap and reliable power for India’s industrialisation…[L]ocal communities say it has done more harm than good…The current case is important…not just for the plaintiffs to “get redress for their own suffering but also to ensure that other communities around the world don’t endure what they’ve endured”…

Part of the following timelines

Indian communities file lawsuit in US court against Intl. Finance Corp. over harm from coal-fired plant

Intl. Finance Corp. claims immunity & moves to dismiss US lawsuit by Indian communities over financing of coal-fired plant

Intl. Finance Corp. lawsuit (re financing of coal-fired plant in India)