The long awaited EBRD Mining Operations Policy was released last week without much noise. It has taken the EBRD more than 3 years to prepare a document which had raised hopes it could improve the bank's activities in the mining sector. Most of these hopes, however, have not been fulfilled.
Centerra Gold is being criticised for its activities in protected areas at the Kumtor gold mine and at another project in Mongolia. More lessons to be learnt for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Following the publication of one official and one shadow report on the Kumtor gold mine, Kyrgyz authorities have responded to the calls of Bankwatch and other environmental groups to take a tougher stance on the Kumtor mining operations. The EBRD should follow their example.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has become a stakeholder in a company that is involved in gold mining in a UNESCO World Heritage site in Russia. Not only does this violate its own Environmental and Social Policy, but it also tells me a lot about the bank's assessment of partner companies.
The EU external energy policy Communication published today by the European Commission continues the decade-long approach of the EU to ensure the unhindered flow of fossil fuel energy supplies to Europe without a real recognition of the problems this drive creates both inside and outside of the EU.
ArcelorMittal, one of the candidates for the worst EU lobby award, is the world's largest private steel company, producing 10 per cent of the world's steel. It is also one of Europe's largest emitters of CO2. Yet the company successfully lobbied the European Commission on behalf of Europe's biggest polluters to continue getting free greenhouse gas emissions permits until at least 2020.
During last weeks internationally-renowned 53rd Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film, DOK Leipzig, Bankwatch's most recent co-production about the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)-financed Kumtor gold mine in Kyrgyzstan All that Glitters collected two awards: the Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk award for an excellent Eastern European documentary film and the Healthy Workplaces Film Award for the best documentary film about the subject of work.
Bankwatch's new report on the EIB's fossil-heavy energy lending between 2002 and 2008 comes one week before the crunch global climate talks in Copenhagen, in preparation for which the international financial institutions have been flexing their rhetorical muscles.