Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) should seize opportunity to ban asbestos
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is one of the major multilateral development banks operating in Asia. This year, the Asbestos. Not Here. Not Anywhere. Campaign has targeted the financial institutions that give loans and grants for development and allow for dangerous asbestos products to be used in their projects. In November 2020 Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA made a submission to the AIIB Environmental and Social Framework review
Who is the AIIB?
The AIIB was set up in 2016 and is based in China. They have a lending capacity of over $20 Billion USD. Australia is one of the 103 members of the bank and Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg sits on the Board of Governors. Australia has just over $5 Billion AUD in capital subscription and 3.5% of the votes.
What is their current policy?
The AIIB, like the Asian Development Bank (ADB), currently bans raw asbestos products from being purchased in the projects they fund, but allows for the use of asbestos cement sheets of less than 20% asbestos. Asbestos cement sheeting is the most common asbestos product in Asia, and in countries like Vietnam it makes up 90% of all asbestos products.
The AIIB is currently reviewing their policy, so we have a chance to campaign for them to change it and make sure that economic development doesn’t include asbestos.
What do we want?
Our submission called on the bank to get rid of the loophole allowing for the use of asbestos cement sheeting. It’s the same change we’ve campaigned for the ADB to make. The ADB has said that they’ll update their policy in a review process and issue a memo to stop asbestos use this year. We want the AIIB to follow their lead and do the same.
Submissions have closed, but you can help by signing the petition or sharing it on social media to send a clear message to the Australian Government that we want them to step up and use their influence at the AIIB to stop Australian and International Development funding going to deadly asbestos.
Join the Campaign to Ban Asbestos
We are building a movement of people in Australia to join with unionists and campaigners across South East Asia to support their struggle to ban asbestos and eliminate asbestos-related diseases. We want to secure an asbestos-free future because as long as asbestos is being used anywhere, it remains a risk everywhere.