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Complaint Targets Standard Chartered Over Coal Plant Funding

Complaint Targets Standard Chartered Over Coal Plant Funding
According to reports on Thursday, environmental and human rights organisations have opened a new case against Standard Chartered for its financing of four coal-fired power plants in the Philippines, filing a complaint with a British government mediation organisation.
By funding the operations, Standard Chartered is allegedly violating the rights of local populations, according to the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice, Inclusive Development International (IDI), Recourse, and BankTrack. They are pleading with Standard Chartered to assist in compensating those impacted and fortify its associated policies.
Effective bank due diligence, according to the NGOs, may have avoided the forced evictions, loss of livelihoods, respiratory and skin disorders linked to air and water pollution, intimidation, and violence that have affected the local community.
The British government's National Contact Point for Responsible Business Conduct (NCP), which looks into violations of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises—a set of guidelines for companies to operate responsibly—received the complaint.
There were no comments on the issue from Standard Chartered and the NCP.
The NCP cannot force Standard Chartered to take action or make restitution, but Britain's export credit agency has stated that it will take the conclusions of the NCP into account when determining whether to support banks and corporations in project funding.
51 nations have established NCPs thus far. After going through a similar procedure, ANZ Bank in Australia decided to pay Cambodian people that were uprooted by a sugar company it assisted in financing, opens new tab.
"Standard Chartered knew or ought to have known that these coal plants would wreck the environment and cause serious harm to local communities, but it financed them anyway and then ignored our repeated requests to contribute to remediation efforts," said IDI Executive Director David Pred in a statement.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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