© Stocksak. FILE PHOTO – The sign for Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), is pictured at its headquarters, Beijing, China, July 27, 2020. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang
By Marc Jones
LONDON (Stocksak), – The China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, (AIIB), has warned governments to avoid building new fossil fuel power plants out of panic during the current global crisis in energy. It said such moves could cause decades of environmental damage.
Jang Ping Thia (one of the AIIB’s chief economists) warned that there is a real risk that concerned governments rush to open and reopen coal power stations and other polluting plants to increase their energy supply.
He said, “We should not make serious mistakes in panic.” “Don’t let one-year crises lock you in for the next 25-30 year.”
Beijing-headquartered AIIB’s annual infrastructure finance report, published on Thursday, lays out its stance for what is shaping up to be a difficult United Nations Climate Change COP 27 summit in Egypt next month.
It called for highly polluting state-owned companies to be quickly transformed into green energy “leaders”, with a special focus on China and India, noting that a global transition to net zero would not be possible without their cooperation.
Jin Liqun, President AIIB, gave a clear nod also to what is likely be the key point in tension in Egypt – the fact that while richer nations have produced most of the greenhouse gases, it will not be the poorest countries who will bear the brunt.
“Emerging economies and developing economies need more than financial and technical support in order to address the legacy of environmental injustice. They also deserve greater attention,” Jin stated.
China, which accounts approximately 30% of global CO2 emissions, holds 26.5% of the voting power of the AIIB.
The report called for the sharing of pollution-cutting technology globally and for countries not to subsidise fossil fuels. This is something many countries have done this year, as Russia’s invasion in Ukraine caused energy prices to soar.
The bank also promised support to countries currently facing serious debt problems.
The AIIB has proposed a $100 million fund to help Sri Lanka in crisis. It is expected that Pakistan will announce a major support package at the upcoming COP summit after the country’s devastating floods.
Jin stated that “In our uncertain era” Jin was referring to the lingering pandemic disruptions as well as rising geopolitical tensions. He said that he remains prepared to swiftly respond to members who might be affected by the volatile global economic environment ahead.