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Our work

We challenge international financial institutions not to finance environmentally and socially harmful investments.

We call for public money being spent on climate-friendly development that is not driven by economic growth per se but by benefits to society and the environment in economically sustainable ways.

Current campaigns


Coal in the Balkans

Countries in south-eastern Europe are strategic partner countries for the EU's energy sector. They also have high ambitions for coal power. The planned energy investments in central and eastern Europe would bring staggering amounts of coal capacities and devastating climate and health impacts.

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Gas for Europe. At any cost?

The Southern Gas Corridor, a system of mega-pipelines meant to bring gas from the Caspian region to Europe, is unnecessary in light of gas demand projections but will boost Azerbaijan's dictatorial regime and cause damage to local communities and the environment.

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Hydropower in Georgia

In Georgia's staggering mountains, a largely unexploited hydropower potential has attracted private investors, the Georgian government and international lenders. Many hydropower projects, however, pose risks for locals that are largely being underestimated or ignored.

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Projects we monitor


See below a list of projects monitored by Bankwatch that receive or may receive international public finance.

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Croatian plans to more than double the capacity of the Plomin coal power plant would have resulted in increased carbon-emissions for several decades. The project’s profitability was questionable and the plans were facing local opposition and conflicting regional legislation.

EBRD
EIB

Ugljevik III near Bijeljina in the Republika Srpska part of Bosnia and Herzegovina is planned to consist of 2x300 MW units which would take lignite from the open cast mines at Delici, Peljave-Tobut, Baljak and part of Ugljevik-Istok. An existing unit of 300 MW at the site, operating since 1985, sits alongside the half-built Ugljevik II whose construction was never finished, and which is now the subject of a long-running dispute with Slovenia.

Chinese investors

The Kolubara B thermal power plant site is situated near Kalenic village, 60 km south-west of Belgrade, at the northern side of the Tamnava Open Cast Mine. The decision to build the 2x350 MW plant was taken in 1983 and construction started in 1988. Construction progressed slowly until 1992, when work was suspended due to sanctions against Serbia. At this stage about 40 percent of the facility had already been constructed, partly with the assistance of a World Bank loan.

World Bank Group

Georgia plans to build a huge number of dams. Yet with 85 percent of electricity needs satisfied and exports not being taxed, these plans will rather benefit private investors than offering sustainable development for Georgia.

EBRD
World Bank Group
ADB

Linked to a slew of controversies, the Kolubara lignite mine in Serbia will receive loans from European public banks. Corruption allegations, pollution at local level, irregularities in resettlement of local populations and not to forget a climate damaging approach to energy investments should be reason enough to find alternatives to lignite mining.

EBRD

The Nenskra dam is the most advanced of Georgia's massive plans for hydropower installations in the Upper Svaneti region. It will deprive the local community of ethnic Svans of lands and livelihoods, but potential negative impacts have not been properly assessed.

EBRD

With the spotlight bright on Volkswagen for cheating in emission tests, the EU's house bank must now come forward and show exactly what it has done to ensure proper oversight over its loans to the company.

EIB

While a mountain community will have to be forced to resettle for this mega-project, the opaque ownership and weak taxation mean that benefits for Georgia are highly doubtful.

World Bank Group

The Struma motorway, part of the Trans European Corridor N4 Sofia-Athens is planned to go directly through the Kresna gorge, a NATURA 2000 site, and the town of Kresna - even though a comprehensive agreement stipulated in 2007 that this route would be avoided.

EU Funds

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