Home >> Our Work >> Who We Monitor >> European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

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.

Spotlight: The EBRD and the mining sector


Institutional background

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.

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.

Browse the timeline below for details, images and videos (You can zoom in and out by using the scale on the left.):

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

Search EBRD projects by

The Bosnian section of the international Corridor Vc is planned to run for 330 km through Bosnia and Herzegovina. Concerns about environmental impacts and threats to cultural heritage were raised by local people and cultural figures. The public discussions about the project have led to a series of scandals and a deadlock of the motorway's development.

EBRD
EIB
Transport
Other harmful projects

The 43-km section of the Moscow - St. Petersburg motorway near Moscow has triggered massive opposition in Russia and abroad. The section is slated to pass through Khimki Forest Park, a protected natural area with rich wildlife and of great importance to local people living in this polluted and densely populated region.

EBRD
EIB
Transport

The Kumtor open pit gold mine is located in a majestic surrounding in the Kyrgyzstan mountains. It receives continued support by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, despite several accidents in the past and ongoing environmental damages from the mining operations.

EBRD
World Bank Group
Social & economic impacts
Other harmful projects
Mining

The resettlement of about 170 predominantly Roma families that lived below the Gazela Bridge in Belgrade, Serbia is part of a wider project for the reconstruction of a bridge across the River Sava. Although the project is backed by European public money, donor requirements to follow World Bank Group resettlement standards have for a long time been ignored by Belgrade City Council.

EBRD
EIB
Social & economic impacts

The Chelopech cyanide mining project was proposed by the Canadian company Dundee Precious Metals (DPM) and its Bulgarian branch Chelopech Mining. It would have expanded metal extraction in the Chelopech gold and copper mine in Central Bulgaria through the introduction of cyanide leaching.

EBRD
Social & economic impacts
Other harmful projects

ArcelorMittal's enormous steel mill in southern Ukraine received a loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in 2006 that helped the company increase productivity and expand its market position but didn't do much to address the pollution caused by the mill.

EBRD
Energy & climate
Social & economic impacts
Mining

In order to improve the efficiency and safety of rail operations within the city of Tbilisi the EBRD together with the EIB is considering a loan of over EUR 290 million for the Tbilisi Railway Bypass Project. The main goal of the project to avoid the transit of hazardous freight (such as oil and oil products) through the middle of the city, but there are several deep concerns that undermine the project goals and cause a serious threat to Tbilisi’s population.

EBRD
EIB
Transport
Social & economic impacts

ArcelorMittal is the largest steel company in the world, producing approximately 8 per cent of the world’s steel output. But the cost of its success has largely been paid by the people living and working near the company’s plants, because of the ArcelorMittal's frequent disregard for the environment and fair labour practices.

EBRD
EIB
Energy & climate
Social & economic impacts
Other harmful projects