The ADB has been in the midst of a review of its energy strategy, as well as its environmental and social safeguards, for the last couple of years, seeking to articulate its most effective role in the region for the medium-term future. Civil society groups have criticized the new draft safeguards for being vague and unenforceable. But at least in rhetoric they contain welcome new requirements: that the borrowers will 'promote the reduction of ... greenhouse gases'; quantify direct and indirect emissions from the project; evaluate options to reduce emissions; and pursue appropriate options.22 In addition, logging in 'primary moist tropical forests or old growth forests' is not eligible for ADB lending.
Moreover, the latest draft of the new energy strategy squarely states that ADB operations in the energy sector should be realigned to 'meeting energy security and transition to a low carbon economy' (ADB, 2008). Recommendations include expanding their energy efficiency investments; support for renewable sources of electricity; technical assistance for the needed regulatory reforms; as well as assisting borrowers to gain access to the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) revenue to cover additional costs of renewable energy installations. And the ADB strategy recommends continuing to avoid funding oil and gas exploratory projects. However, the strategy states that coal 'will remain a major source of energy for electricity and heat' and therefore the ADB will 'actively promote' its extraction and use (ADB, 2007, p24).
Was this article helpful?