New Report Details Human Rights Violations Surrounding U.S. Ex-Im Financed Coal Plant in India
Today, the Sierra Club, 350.org, Carbon Market Watch, Pacific Environment, and Friends of the Earth U.S. released a report detailing the catastrophic human rights, labor, and environmental violations at Reliance Power’s Sasan coal-fired power plant and mine in Singrauli, India. Even more striking is the fact that the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) has financed over $900 million for the project, using American taxpayer dollars to support the dirty, dangerous coal project.
The report — The U.S. Export-Import Bank’s Dirty Dollars — includes accounts from more than 25 local residents who were the victim of relocation, violence, and disappearances and have suffered negative health effects as a result of the coal plant’s construction. The U.S. Export-Import Bank Office of the Inspector General (OIG) completed its first trip to Sasan last week, where they refused to meet with the affected people in their communities.
“Indian civil society organizations and U.S.-based groups have repeatedly alerted Ex-Im to the grave human rights violations taking place at Sasan, but the Bank has continually turned a deaf ear. The affected communities will not be silent. These are the stories Ex-Im and the OIG attempted to mute,” said Nicole Ghio, a campaign representative of the Sierra Club’s International Climate Program and one of the report’s authors.
“This report further exposes the dangers of coal and investments in it in India. Reliance’s repeated transgressions and Ex-Im bank’s blind eye to them is totally unacceptable. The impacted people of Sasan and their families are demanding justice,” said Payal Parekh 350.org’s Global Managing Director who partook in the fact finding mission to Sasan earlier this year.
“Despite the shocking evidence presented in the fact finding report, the Sasan coal power project remains registered with the UN’s carbon offsetting mechanism designed to reduce emissions and contribute to sustainable development. The findings of this report need to be addressed in the upcoming climate change conference in Lima,” said Eva Filzmoser, director of Carbon Market Watch.
But despite these allegations, the coal project is shrouded in secrecy. Ex-Im has repeatedly refused to provide monitoring documents for Sasan, disregarding its own due diligence procedures and federal legislation requiring that these documents be made available upon request.
In response, the Sierra Club submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request today to gain access to all records pertaining to Environmental and Social Management Plans for Sasan. This includes the supplemental environmental reports — encompassing both the remediation or mitigation plans and related monitoring reports — Reliance Power is required to submit for each coal project. Ex-Im has 30 days to respond to the request.
To read the report, click here.
About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.4 million members and supporters nationwide. In addition to creating opportunities for people of all ages, levels and locations to have meaningful outdoor experiences, the Sierra Club works to safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and litigation. For more information, visit http://www.sierraclub.org.
350.org is building a global climate movement. Our online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions are coordinated by a global network active in over 188 countries. The number 350 means climate safety: to preserve a livable planet, scientists tell us we must reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere from its current level of 400 parts per million to below 350 ppm.
We believe that a global grassroots movement can hold our leaders accountable to the realities of science and the principles of justice. That movement is rising from the bottom up all over the world, and is uniting to create the solutions that will ensure a better future for all.
About Carbon Market Watch
Carbon Market Watch scrutinises carbon markets and advocates for fair and effective climate protection. The watchdog initiative is comprised by member organisations across the globe and coordinates a network of more than 800 members in more than 70 countries. Carbon Market Watch is active at European, international and grassroots levels to advocate for stronger environmental and social integrity of carbon markets. For more information, visit www.carbonmarketwatch.org.
About Pacific Environment
Pacific Environment, headquartered in San Francisco, protects the living environment of the Pacific Rim by promoting grassroots activism, strengthening communities and reforming international policies. For over two decades, we have partnered with local communities around the Pacific Rim to protect and preserve the ecological treasures of this vital region. Visit www.pacificenvironment.org to learn more about our work.
About Friends of the Earth US
Friends of the Earth fights to create a more healthy and just world. Our current campaigns focus on promoting clean energy and solutions to climate change, keeping toxic and risky technologies out of the food we eat and products we use, and protecting marine ecosystems and the people who live and work near them.