Mandaluyong – On May 4, 350.org Pilipinas joined climate advocates mobilizing in 13 cities across Asia to protest against the growing gas industry in the region and to urge governments to switch to renewable energy. The protest was held in front of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Mandaluyong, Philippines and coincided with ADB Board of Governors’ 56th annual meeting in South Korea.
The rallies, as part of the “Don’t Gas Asia” campaign, called out the ADB for continuing to finance gas projects despite its avowed commitment to support low-carbon transition in Asia-Pacific. They also called out the government of Japan and Korea for being among the world’s leading gas and LNG investors. Japan is one of the largest shareholders of the bank and holds the presidency of ADB while Korea hosts this year’s Board of Governors meeting.
Chuck Baclagon, 350.org Asia Regional Finance Campaigner says,
“While we laud the Asian Development Bank’s end for direct financing of fossil-fuels in their new energy investment policy, we call out ADB for their classification of fossil gas as a transition fuel towards meeting the decarbonization targets. ADB prides itself as a key player in ending poverty in Asia, being true to this means addressing energy poverty.
Moving away from fossil-fuels goes beyond reducing emissions, it also goes hand-in-hand with ensuring greater energy access for everyone. We urge ADB to completely drop gas out of its investment portfolio as it is not only a cause of carbon emissions but rather another form of mega infrastructure that cannot provide power to communities because of its incompatibility with the archipelagic geography of most of Asia which and therefore more suited to decentralized renewables that harnesses the indigenous available power sources like wind and solar. Removing fossil fuels from the equation not only reduces emissions but also allows for greater energy access through decentralized renewables that harness local power sources like wind and solar. We urge the bank to completely divest from gas and redirect investments towards building clean, reliable, and affordable energy systems”
Asia has more than US$350 billion of new gas infrastructure projects, triple the estimated investment for Europe, purportedly aimed at allowing economies including China, the Philippines and Vietnam to avoid burning more coal.
Note to Editors
Photos available here
Photo credit: Kathleen Limayo