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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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The vision of the European Commission's Energy Union proposes making Europe a world leader in renewables and energy efficiency, but at the same time emphasises investments undermining that goal, in particular massive gas infrastructure within Europe and to import gas from the Caspian region.

EU Funds
EIB

With huge amounts of unexploited natural resources (gold, copper, coal and more) the Mongolian economy is estimated to grow massively in the years to come. But will it also benefit the people in Mongolia? Our work shows how mining operations lead to pollution and displacement for local herders and exacerbate water scarcity issues.

EBRD

In its drive for 'energy security', the EU is looking to its eastern neighbour for cheap energy. But using a series of high-voltage transmission lines to import dirty energy supplies like nuclear and coal power from Ukraine will not make the EU safer, and it will lock both into an unstable and environmentally unsound energy mix.

EBRD
EIB

An underground hydropower plant is planned to be built in a natural habitat of global significance. The project's assessments have been plagued by oddities and cannot be considered complete. In May 2013, following increasing pressure from civil society groups, the EBRD pulled out of the project for which it had approved a EUR 123 million loan.

EBRD

Saaremaa is the biggest Estonian island (40,000 inhabitants) and an important recreation destination with some 250,000 visitors per year. Famous for its picturesque landscapes, the island's vulnerable ecosystems are in danger of being sacrificed for an expensive bridge construction.

EU Funds

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

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

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

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