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26 Jan 2016

Liu Qin, China Dialogue

Pressure mounts on AIIB for greater clarity on green lending

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]

Part of the following timelines

Commentaries on potential human rights & environmental impacts by China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

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