European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
Established to promote transition to market-oriented economies in the countries of central and eastern Europe and Central Asia, the EBRD's lending often fails to benefit the people in these countries and regularly prioritises carbon-intensive and environmentally damaging development.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development was established in 1991 in London with the aim of promoting transition to market-oriented economies in the countries of central and eastern Europe and Central Asia.
The EBRD has greatly increased its activities as a result of the financial crisis. It also decided to expand its operations to Egypt, following the upheavals in north Africa. But questions persist about the sustainability of the financial system which it is promoting in the transition countries.
Currently the EBRD has 63 members (61 countries, the European Union and the European Investment Bank), with a total of 29 countries of operations in central and eastern Europe, Central Asia an the Caucasus - and soon in north Africa.
Toolkit for civil society
Guidance on how to use the EBRD's grievance mechanism for civil society, local groups and individuals that are adversely affected by a bank project.
It provides loans, equity investments and guarantees for private and public sector projects in the areas of finance, infrastructure, industry and commerce. The EBRD works in close cooperation with other international financial institutions such as the World Bank and the European Investment Bank.
EBRD financing - disputable benefits
The EBRD has financed a number of environmentally and/or socially harmful projects. Although it has increased its investments into energy efficiency in recent years, it continues to diminish the impacts of these by financing carbon-intensive development such as coal, oil and gas production, transportation and generation, motorways and airports.
We've collected examples from the last 20 years to illustrate just how the EBRD's activities are often not worth celebrating - at least not for the affected people and environment.
Concerns have also been raised about its financing for projects which should have been able to access financing from other sources (e.g. ArcelorMittal Temirtau), or companies which have not shown themselves sufficiently committed to improving their environmental and social governance (e.g. Dundee Precious Metals (DPM) in case of the Chelopech cyanide gold project). Some EBRD-financed concession contracts have also involved undue rewards for the private sector (pdf).
For more information contact our EBRD campaign coordinator Fidanka Bacheva-McGrath
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