Greenpeace welcomed a new draft energy police released by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) last week but said it missed the mark in responding to realities.
“While their announcement is welcome, it falls short and completely misses the mark in responding to this decade’s realities,” said the environmental activist group in a statement.
It said the global pandemic “is showing the world the urgent need for systemic changes to rapidly accelerate an energy transition and enable a just and green recovery.”
On Friday, May 7, ADB released its draft energy policy, which states that it “will not finance any new coal-fired capacity for power and heat generation or any facilities associated with new coal generation.”
The multilateral development bank, which focuses on eradicating poverty in Asia, provided no timeline for its commitment.
It also laid out conditions under which fossil fuel projects would continue to receive funding, such as where no other cost-effective technology was available.
Yongping Zhai, head of the ADB’s energy sector, said the draft would be deliberated by its board of directors in October.
“The draft coal ban policy is a decade late, but it still helps build the economic case for the energy transition to governments and investors, and will help avoid more stranded coal assets,” said Pedro H. Maniego Jr., senior policy adviser at the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities.
He said that if ADB will consider fossil gas as a bridge and transition fuel, “it needs to stipulate an end.”
“ADB’s new policy to stop coal financing is a long-delayed and incremental move,” said Jasper Inventor, Greenpeace Southeast Asia program director.
He said communities throughout Asia have struggled for decades to demand ADB to stop financing dirty energy.
“But while their new energy policy puts the brakes on coal financing, it still opens doors for fossil gas development,” said Inventor.
Greenpeace is calling on ADB to phase out investment and support for all fossil fuels, including fossil gas.
The group said the bank “must not provide a loophole and opportunities for businesses to impede the transition to renewable energy by replacing coal with fossil gas.”
Set up in the early 1960s and headquartered in Manila, the ADB has channelled US$42.5 billion into the energy sector across the region between 2009 and 2019, it said on its website.