These comments focus in particular on the energy sector in Kosovo to avoid a replication of mistakes that the EBRD made in other countries in the region. The Kosovo energy sector presents a wide range of serious challenges and it is of particular concern that the draft strategy includes specifically the new Kosovo lignite power plant project among its possible interventions (while not specifying specific energy efficiency or renewable energy projects).
Kosovo Civil Society Consortium for Sustainable Development (KOSID) is an umbrella for Civil Society groups in Kosovo that follow projects with the aim of contributing to more sustainable solutions. KOSID consists of think tanks, civic initiatives, public information and outreach organizations, and specific professional institutions and associations; those work together as a group in following the projects. KOSID's comments on the EBRD's draft strategy for Kosovo argues against supporting a new lignite-fired power plant near Prishtina.
The EBRD draft strategy for Kosovo is currently under public consultation until April 18. While Bankwatch will also publish comments on the content of the strategy, this letter brings important procedural matters to the EBRD's attention which, if not improved, will seriously impact the quality of the country strategy.
Bankwatch's comments focus on the aspects of mining and economic diversification; modernising infrastructure; energy efficiency, renewables and climate change; environmental, social and gender implications of the bank’s
This study offers evidence and guidelines for the development of sustainable Operational Programmes in EU Member States in the waste management sector, the sector where most countries in central and eastern Europe seriously lag behind EU standards and achievements. As a policy analysis it tries to directly link the European Waste Framework Directive and the new Cohesion Policy Regulation by understanding the Resource Efficient Europe Initiative.
European environmental legislation contains no provisions on the exploration and exploitation of unconventional fossil fuels, most notably shale gas. To establish these, the European Commission has conducted a public consultation on whether and under which conditions shale gas exploitation can be an acceptable practice and on the benefits and threats it brings with it.
After the EIB and the EBRD disbursed a promised 650 million euros for Slovenian lignite plant TES 6 on March 8, Focus Slovenia, CEE Bankwatch Network and 96 other NGOs sent this letter to the two banks calling on them to never commit to such a misguided loan again. The letter includes a list of reasons why Sostanj was undeserving of public loans and a set of measures that need to be taken by the banks immediately in order to avoid such mistakes from being repeated in the future.
Linked to a slew of controversies, the Kolubara lignite mining project in Serbia is in line for support 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 alternative options.
On the occasion of the Climate Parliament meeting in the European Parliament and with both the EBRD and EIB currently undertaking reviews of their respective energy policies, this issue of Bankwatch Mail takes another close look at the banks' energy lending, including nuclear and shale gas in Ukraine, coal in Kosovo, the European Commission's thoughts on the EIB's energy lending. It also showcases a range of bright ideas from the winners of our EU funds competition, aimed at stimulating new thinking on how future EU budget spending can practically assist local communities and the environment, and more...
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is expected to take a decision this month on whether or not to provide a EUR 300 million loan for a nuclear power plant Safety Upgrade Programme (SUP) in Ukraine. Bankwatch and other environment groups are questioning the logic of the proposed SUP as it will result in some of Ukraine’s old nuclear units continuing to operate for another 20 years.
The European Investment Bank’s annual press conference in the final week of February proved to be significantly more revealing about the bank’s commitment to fueling climate change than is the norm for the EU bank.
The renovation of buildings to high energy performance standards has the potential to be the most cost effective investment any European nation can make, given the benefits in terms of job creation, quality of life, economic stimulus and energy security that such investments deliver. For these reasons the Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE) is advocating for the maximum possible allocation of EU funds to the energy renovation of buildings under the recently agreed multi-annual financial framework (MFF) for 2014-2020.
At a press conference in January, Serbia’s energy minister Zorana Mihajlović spoke out strongly against the Kolubara mining complex, describing it as being “mired in crime and corruption” while also announcing that a thorough investigation is ongoing into corrupt practices by the Kolubara management. Bankwatch believes that this latest confirmed scandal at Kolubara should be giving the EBRD serious pause for reflection as it considers yet another loan to the Serbian electricity company EPS, heavily implicated in these latest revelations.
"Please be advised that, in this particular transaction, the EBRD and Monsanto were unable to find a satisfactory project structure for financing. Each institution will continue to explore other opportunities in order to provide farmers and distributors with adequate and time-appropriate financing, which we recognize to be one of the key challenges to increase agricultural productivity in the Bank’s region of operations."
Bankwatch’s competition devoted to showcasing ideas for EU funds investments that can generate sustainable development for European communities has proved to be a big success – and it should offer inspiration to EU and national level decision-makers as the task of setting operational programmes, the blueprints for how to spend the EUR 960 billion pot for the 2014-2020 budgetary period, now gets underway.