ADB Discusses Private Sector Operations in the Energy Sector with Civil Society
The role of the private sector and financial intermediaries in ADB’s energy sector investments was discussed at a civil society forum held on 3 May 2018 at ADB Headquarters in Manila. The dialogue was part of the Civil Society Program of ADB’s 51st Annual Meeting.
Around 100 civil society organization (CSOs) and NGO representatives joined the discussions which covered ADB-supported energy projects in India, Indonesia and the Philippines. The speakers, mostly from advocacy NGOs, shared some of the social and environmental impacts of ADB-supported energy projects. Issues related to adequate consultations with local communities were raised.
ADB is moving away from funding coal, noting there was no coal-fired power generation projects in the PSOD pipeline. ADB’s Michael Barrow, Director General of the Private Sector Operations (PSOD), explained ADB’s role in working with banks and other financial intermediaries in the energy sector. The PSOD’s projects are subject to the same stringent safeguards policies – and the same process of review – as other ADB-assisted work. Mr. Barrow welcomed engagement with civil society on these issues, including the opportunity to better communicate the role of PSOD to the CSOs.
Michael Barrow is director general of ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department, handling all of of ADB's private infrastructure and financial institutions investments, lending, and guarantees. He is concurrently on the board of Asian Climate Partners, a climate change-focused private equity fund established in Hong Kong. He joined ADB in July 2003. Prior to joining ADB, Mr. Barrow worked for the Deutsche Bank group over the course of 15 years in London, Tokyo, and Singapore, lastly as director of both project finance and transportation, with a project finance and PPP focus. He was senior vice president in the Structure Finance Department of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. in Singapore handling project financing. Mr. Barrow was educated at the Lycee Internationale in Paris, France after which he obtained an MA in oriental studies from Oxford University England.
Mae Buenaventura works as the deputy coordinator of the Asian Peoples' Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD), a regional campaign alliance working on development finance and climate justice. She also currently serves as a board member of the Freedom from Debt Coalition which focuses on debt, tax, and essential services.
For more than two decades, Titi Soentoro has been active in women’s, environmental, and social movements in her home country, Indonesia, and other countries in Asia. She promotes human rights (particularly women's rights), safeguards, and accountability in the context of development. Aside from policy advocacy, Ms. Soentoro undertakes project monitoring and capacity building for campaigners and affected communities in Indonesia and other Asian countries. She also provides international skill-share training on gender, climate, and financial institutions. Ms. Soentoro monitors international financial institutions like ADB, the World Bank, the Green Climate Fund, as well as the financing of ASEAN. From 2009-2012, she was the network advocacy coordinator of the NGO Forum on ADB. Currently, Ms. Soentoro is the policy advisor of Aksi! for gender, social and ecological justice, an organization she established with other Indonesian feminists. She is the representative of Aksi! at the Asia-Pacific Forum on Women, Law, and Development. Recently, Ms. Soentoro became a member of the Jubilee South/Asia-Pacific Movements on Debt and Development.
Rayyan Hassan is a Bangladeshi national and the current executive director of the NGO Forum on ADB. The NGO Forum on ADB comprises over 250 civil society groups that include grassroots organizations, social movements, and affected communities across Asia which monitor programs and policies of the ADB and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Mr. Hassan continues to advocate civil society concerns to the ADB and AIIB and their major shareholders, as he forges new alliances and campaigns with civil society groups across the world. His work in the Forum continues to advocate for environmental and social justice in the debate for responsible development financing in infrastructure across Asia.