Jul 092014

By Ryan Brightwell, BankTrack and Zachary Hurwitz, International Rivers, 9 July 2014

When a group of banks came together in January to launch the Green Bond Principles, our immediate concern was that the group’s reluctance to adopt guidelines about what can be considered “green” risked setting the initiative up to fail.

It looks like these fears are closer to being realized, as GDF Suez’s recent green bond issue – the largest green bond so far by a corporation – is reported to be raising money for the controversial Jirau Dam in Brazil, and potentially other damaging projects. Crédit Agricole, the bank which acted as Structuring Advisor and coordinator of the bond issue, and Citi, the deal’s other coordinator, were two of the Green Bond Principles’ four founding partners. Continue reading »

Feb 262014

By Michelle Chan, BankTrack Chair and Friends of the Earth Economic Policy Director, 12 February 2014

In 2012, a Chinese-owned mining company, EcuaCorriente, signed a deal with the Ecuadorean government to develop a copper mine in one of the most biodiverse and beautiful places on earth. Located in Ecuador’s misty highlands, the Mirador mine has since been the target of protests, lawsuits and resistance from communities and organisations concerned about the mine’s impact on water, biodiversity and indigenous peoples.

El Mirador is just one example of a foreign direct investment that has attracted intense controversy – an unwelcome side effect of a Chinese foreign policy that has encouraged Chinese companies to go global.

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