Almost 60 civil society organisations have called on the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to implement significant changes to the ongoing review of its Energy Sector Strategy (ESS), demanding a meaningful, inclusive, multi-lingual, publicly accountable, and transparent consultation process with diverse sectors of civil society.
The organisations called on AIIB to:
extend the deadline for input beyond 3rd June;
post translated draft texts in major languages of regional and non-regional members and enabling options for submissions to be accordingly received and taken into account in other languages;
permit comments on the draft to be submitted anonymously, providing assurances that such inputs will be duly taken into account,
publicly disclose any approach or background paper on the Energy Sector Strategy Update that is informing the revisions proposed at the earliest possible date, i.e. during the public consultation period;
publicly disclose a timeline for the update with clearly defined opportunities for civil society inputs, as well as a commitment to disclose a collated list of public comments received with responses from the AIIB;
schedule online interactive discussion based sessions held in different time zones and languages to accommodate regional and non-regional members, and times for meetings to discuss sub-sector concerns, such as on hydropower dams, gas power projects, LNG terminals and cross-border pipelines , as well as those classified as ‘innovative and transformative’ in the draft updated text (e.g. including ‘low-carbon’ hydrogen, biomass methodologies and electricity storage technologies);
provide transparent and clear language on the applicability of the Energy Sector Strategy to non-regional member states, including (i) defined expectations on what types of energy investments will be prioritised and promoted outside of the Asian region, and (ii) what types of modalities for financing will be deployed, so that civil society groups from other regions can respond accordingly, and
proactively respond to the range of concerns civil society groups have brought forward to the Bank’s management, board and staff about the risk of reprisals experienced by outspoken community members in project affected areas by immediately (i) integrating a Zero Tolerance provision on reprisals within the text of the updated draft on the AIIB Energy Sector Strategy, as well as (ii) operationalising the Bank’s 2021 Environmental and Social Framework commitments to address retaliations by adopting and putting into practice an explicit Zero Tolerance protocol for all external relations, inclusive of the ongoing policy revision process of the ESS.
Read the full letter here.