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Fossil fuel funding: ADB to end financing for coal mining, oil & natural gas activities

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has said that it will no longer finance coal mining or oil and natural gas activities

Fossil fuel funding: ADB to end financing for coal mining, oil & natural gas activities
Fossil fuel funding: ADB to end financing for coal mining, oil & natural gas activities
  • ADB hasn’t announced a timeline for the implementation of its energy policy so far

  • The ADB said that under certain conditions, it would provide funds for natural gas projects and “hybrid electricity solutions” involving fossil fuels as backup systems

New Delhi: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has said that it will no longer finance coal mining or oil and natural gas activities. In a draft policy statement released on Friday, which was welcomed by environment groups, the ADB said that the policy was a decade overdue. Yongping Zhai, head of the ADB’s energy sector, said the draft would be deliberated by its board of directors in October. The news comes days after environmental groups had urged the ADB to end loans to the entire fossil fuel sector.

“Coal and other fossil fuels have played a large part in ensuring access to energy for the region’s economic development, but they have not solved the energy access challenge, and their use harms the environment and accelerates climate change,” the Manila-based ADB said in the document.

Funding to continue where no cost-effective alternative to fossil fuel is available

The multilateral development bank hasn’t announced a timeline for the implementation of its energy policy so far. However, it has laid out conditions under which fossil fuels will continue to receive funding. For instance, funding will be made available in cases where no other cost-effective technology was available.

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The ADB said that under certain conditions, it would provide funds for natural gas projects and “hybrid electricity solutions” involving fossil fuels as backup systems. 

Greenpeace says ADB policy ‘long delayed, incremental’

While welcoming the ADB’s policy proposal, Greenpeace said that the policy was “long delayed and incremental.” Greenpeace Southeast Asia programme director Jasper Inventor said in a statement, “Communities throughout Asia have struggled for decades to demand ADB to stop financing dirty energy.” He added, “While this new policy puts the brakes on coal financing, it still opens doors for fossil gas development.”

The backdrop

Between 2009 and 2019 the ADB has channelled $42.5 billion into energy sector projects in Asia, where around 60 percent of electricity is generated by coal, ADB data showed. The multilateral bank is focussed on eradication of poverty in Asia.

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