From: Reuters
Published May 11, 2007 12:00 AM

Green Groups Slam Investment Strategy of China Banks

HONG KONG -- Green groups have slammed Chinese banks for increasing investments in environmentally hazardous and controversial projects both in developing nations around the world and at home.

Friends of the Earth and BankTrack, a network that monitors the financial sector, cite logging activities in Suriname and Indonesia, a controversial iron ore mine in Gabon and a potentially polluting nickel mine in Papua New Guinea as examples of projects funded by Chinese banks.

A dam in Sudan that will displace 50,000 people when it straddles the Nile river is also being built with money from Chinese banks, the NGOs said in a report.

China's massive and controversial North-South water diversion project and the Three Gorges Dam were also noted.

The groups say global banking giants should shoulder some responsibility for pushing an environmental agenda at their Chinese counterparts.

"International banks have complained that the lack of environmental financing standards at Chinese peers is putting them at a competitive disadvantage," Michelle Chan-Fishel, author of the report, was quoted in a statement as saying.

"But banks like HSBC, RBS, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and Bank of America all own large shares in Chinese banks. They must take responsibility for ensuring that high environmental standards, which they all claim to have, are also adopted by their strategic business partners."

Source: Reuters

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