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14 Jun 2020

Financial Post, Bloomberg

Turkey: More than 20 NGOs call on Chinese banks to stop funding coal-fired power plant

“China's Banks Asked to Stop Funding Turkey's Coal Industry”, 10 June 2020

More than 20 non-governmental organizations have called on Chinese banks to withdraw financial support for a coal-fired power plant under construction in Turkey, citing environmental damage and a disregard for the “green” pledge of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The groups sent letters to China Development Bank, Bank of China Ltd., and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., asking them to halt financing for the Emba Hunutlu project, they said in a press release… A related online petition garnered more than 19,000 signatures. “In light of community opposition to the project, as well as the lack of legal compliance, we respectfully ask that the financiers of the Emba Hunutlu coal plant to withdraw all financial support from the project,” the group said in the letter. “We believe that the cumulative biodiversity, environmental, air pollution, climate, and policy alignment issues raise serious red flags about your institution’s involvement in this project.”…

Bank of China declined to comment. The other two banks, as well the project’s developer, Shanghai Electric Power Co., didn’t respond to requests for comment…  

The group, which includes Turkish and international NGOs, cited ongoing air pollution issues in Adana province, where the plant will be built, and that the project could result in 2,000 premature deaths. The facility would also be a threat to the nesting area of a protected species of turtle. All the three banks in April 2019 signed the Belt and Road Green Investment Principles, a set of voluntary guidelines incorporating low-carbon and sustainable development practices for projects along China’s major overseas investment initiative…