AIIB faces climate protests at annual meeting in Luxembourg

(Eco Business, 12 Jul 2019) Activists from across the world are planning demonstrations against the bank over its fossil fuel investments.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is holding its first ever annual meeting outside of Asia on 12-13 July in Europe—a continent that has just suffered June temperatures more than 6-10C above average in many countries, including in France, which experienced its hottest day on record: 45.9C.

As the AIIB gathers in Luxembourg, worried citizens are putting the heat back on the Chinese-led bank for its questionable record on climate change.

Activists from all over the world are planning demonstrations, hosted by school strikers, Youth for Climate, local organisations Laika and Etika, Extinction Rebellion and others, outside the AIIB’s AGM conference venue in Luxembourg. International climate coalition, the Big Shift Campaign, has launched an online campaign for the bank to exit fossils and there is grassroots resistance to the fossil fuel projects it is funding.

This is not how it was meant to be for the AIIB.

Founded just after the Paris Agreement, the bank styled itself a “lean, clean and green” climate leader. It published a new Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) to “prioritise investments promoting greenhouse gas emission neutral and climate resilient infrastructure, including actions for reducing emissions, climate-proofing, and promotion of renewable energy”.

But behind the rhetoric, the AIIB’s investments are telling a very different story. Of its US$8 billion investments to date, 20 per cent have gone into fossil fuels against just 8 per cent for renewables. In its energy portfolio alone, fully 57 per cent has backed fossils—more than double the amount for renewables (the rest is for energy investments where the fuel sources are not defined).

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Eco Business, 12 Jul 2019: AIIB faces climate protests at annual meeting in Luxembourg