|Photo: ELAW partner Aaron Pedrosa holding the submitted complaint.|
Yesterday, ELAW partners at the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) submitted a complaint against the International Finance Corporation (IFC) for fueling climate change by investing in a Philippine bank that finances the nation's coal industry.
There are more than 7,000 islands in the Philippines, making it one of the world's most vulnerable countries to climate change due to sea level rise and extreme weather events.
The IFC's independent watchdog, the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman, received the complaint, which calls on the IFC to stop supporting coal projects.
ELAW partner Aaron Pedrosa, attorney at PMCJ, says, "By providing funds to intermediaries that are bankrolling a new generation of coal plants, the IFC is lending its imprimatur to the deaths and destruction caused by coal plant operations. It should be held to account."
The complaint explains the financial links between the IFC and 19 coal-fired power plants in the Philippines; the failure of IFC-financed coal plants to meet international greenhouse gas emission standards; and the impacts of coal plant emissions on human rights.
The complaint also describes threats and physical violence faced by environmental advocates opposing coal projects in the Philippines, one of the most dangerous countries in the world to be an environmental defender.
ELAW Executive Director Bern Johnson said: "The IFC should be leading the way towards truly renewable energy, rather than propping up coal. We applaud these courageous citizens for challenging the IFC to do the right thing."
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