Bankwatch, Slovenian NGO Focus and Environmental Legal Service (CZ) ask the EBRD's Project Complaint Mechanism to undertake a compliance review of whether the bank has complied with its Environmental and Social Policy 2008 in relation to two aspects of the Sostanj lignite thermal power plant:
(a) Claims by the EBRD that the project in question is "CCS ready" and
(b) the EBRD's assessment of whether Slovenia can fulfil its obligations in meeting long-term EU climate goals if it undertakes the project.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Euroatom plan to support the nuclear power plant safety upgrade project in Ukraine. The EU presents the project as a timely initiative to improve nuclear safety in the region. A closer inspection however shows that it in fact can increase nuclear risks, in that the project includes a significant number of measures necessary to extend the lifetime of the reactors.
The Coalition for a sustainable EU Budget advocates that a number of amendments to the Commission legislative proposal concerning the next Cohesion Policy funds should be supported by the European Parliament and Council if the next EU regional funds are to play any significant role in the transition towards a low-carbon, sustainable European economy.
The loan agreement between Ukraine and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for the Rivne-Kyiv High Voltage Line project (connected to the controversial "Second Backbone Corridor") included significant parts of the project that were not assessed in the obligatory environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) prior to project approval.
The complaint, filed with the European Investment Bank by Environmental Law Service (CZ) and Focus Association for Sustainable Development (SI), outlines controversies in relation to the Sostanj lignite thermal power plant with regards to the following aspects:
insubstantial allegation that the project is „carbon capture ready“ and that the assessment submitted by the operator fulfils the criteria set up by the relevant EU Directive,
failure to comply with the relevant EU directive for public procurements,
The letter criticises the environmental assessment of the Nuclear power plants safety upgrade programme (SUP) in Ukraine. It concludes that the assessment insufficient and does not fully elaborate the objectives and consequences of the SUP.
The study analyses energy lending by the EIB, the world's largest public bank, since the institution launched its energy policy in 2007. While lending to renewables has increased in the period 2007-2010, support for fossil fuels has also risen, almost doubling from 2.8 billion euros in 2007 to 5 billion in 2010.
This toolkit (available in different languages) was prepared by Bankwatch partner and member groups to help civil society organisations from the Western Balkan region better understand the Instrument for Pre-Accession (IPA) and to learn about EU experiences in programming of the EU funds.
Cohesion Policy plays an important role in steering local economies towards sustainability. Green investments however still remain limited in the Commission’s proposal for a reformed Cohesion Policy - a missed opportunity as it stands now. This NGO briefing suggest solutions strengthen the proposal in order to achieve the fundamental energy and environment targets for 2020.
The graphs in this briefing illustrate the EBRD's energy lending 2006-2010. Investments in renewable energy were at least 6 times higher in the EU New Member States than in eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union. Although all EBRD countries of operation need such investments dearly, non-EU countries that are not stimulated by EU renewable energy targets arguably need the EBRD's support even more.
The European Commission has set the goal of becoming a resource-efficient, renewables-based economy by 2050. This means a near-total decarbonisation of the EU energy sector is needed by 2050, as well as that of the industry and residential sectors.
If the EBRD's Sustainable Energy Initiative (SEI) wants to help achieving this, it has to be tightened up significantly. Bankwatch suggests 10 ways to do this.
See our official comments to the EBRD's SEI consultation here
The primary goal of the EU’s neighbourhood policy should be based on an insistence on increased democracy in EU neighbourhood countries. This should happen through public participation in decision-making processes, the establishment of good governance and sustainable development practices, increased environmental protection and climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well as increased welfare and social security across these countries.