U.S. House Passes the BUILD Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of legislation to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration, the U.S. House today voted to approve the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development Act (BUILD) Act. The legislation will combine the Overseas Private Investment Corporation with two smaller departments at the United States Agency for International Development, creating a larger development finance agency called the International Development Finance Institution.
In an opinion piece published in June in The Hill, Friends of the Earth’s Kate DeAngelis called on Congress to include protections for the environment, climate, gender, accountability, workers’ rights, human rights, anti-corruption and transparency in the new institution. As the bill went through the legislative process, these protections were carried over. Senate leadership said they will vote soon on the bill. Trump supports the BUILD Act and is expected to sign the bill into law.
In response to the passing of the bill in the Senate, Kate DeAngelis, senior international policy analyst at Friends of the Earth U.S., issued the following statement:
It has taken decades for civil society to secure the basic environmental and social protections at OPIC. We are now assured that the passage of the BUILD Act and the establishment of the IDFI will not destroy these protections, which had been under threat and represent a bare bones minimum for any international development institution in 2018.
The IDFI must steer clear of financing fossil fuels and instead support renewable energy, especially distributed systems for marginalized populations. Friends of the Earth will be watching closely to ensure that the new institution puts the needs of local communities and the environment above corporate profits.