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Policy comments | October 21, 2015

In spite of positive elements the EBRD's Draft Strategy for the Promotion of Gender Equality is unclear or appears to lack consistency in some parts. More importantly, the EBRD's failure to take a rights-based approach to gender equality has resulted in a limited vision of gender equality of economic opportunity “as a key tool” for promoting efficient market transition. By making the business case for gender equality this approach may ensure stronger ownership of the Strategy by the bank, but it is a missed opportunity for aligning the Strategy with the bank's unique Sustainable Development mandate. Without a persuasive presentation of the EBRD's strategic approach to safeguarding gender rights, the draft of the Strategy lacks justification for choosing to promote women while refusing to protect them.

Advocacy letter | October 8, 2015

The Tsumeb smelter in Namibia belongs to Dundee Precious Metals, a Canadian company that operates and develops gold, copper and silver mines in Bulgaria, Armenia and Serbia. Investigating complaints about local pollution, Bankwatch member group Za Zemiata (BG) repeatedly requested access to environmental information from the Namibian government - to no avail.

Read more about the Tsumeb smelter on our blog >>

Policy comments | September 29, 2015

These comments on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for the Nenskra hydropower plant in Georgia concludes that the quality of the submitted report is extremely poor. The report as well as the public hearings organised during its preparation do not comply with Georgian legislation or with the requirements of International Financial Institutions.

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Study | September 29, 2015

This report explains the importance of the EU's Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) and argues why it must have the strongest objectives and targets as possible for SEE countries.

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Study | September 24, 2015

This study shows how the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has failed to enforce several of its basic principles on involuntary resettlement in the Kolubara Mining Basin, one of the largest sources of lignite in Europe, where mining has continued for over fifty years.

Advocacy letter | September 24, 2015

Following revelations about Volkswagen cheating in emissions tests and about the European Investment Bank's substantial support for VW - including loans for research and development of cleaner engines, Bankwatch requested information on EIB loans to the car maker.

The bank provided highly insufficient responses. Read more here >>

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Study | September 14, 2015

Given Ukraine's abundant land resources and food production potential, modernisation of agriculture is necessary and industrialisation is inevitable. Yet, an investigation into the Vinnytsia poultry complex shows the negative side effects of large-scale industrialisation of meat production and sounds the alarm about the risks that agroholdings pose to communities.

Study | September 10, 2015

The analysis, by Friends of the Earth France and Croatia, Zelena Istra, CEE Bankwatch Network and BankTrack, screens the risks of the 500 megawatt Plomin C coal power plant project proposed for development in the picturesque Istrian peninsula in Croatia, a popular international tourist destination. It concludes that French bank Crédit Agricole's support for the project is inconsistent with the bank's climate ambitions and its own sector policy on coal-fired power plants. according to a new study released today.

Advocacy letter | September 7, 2015

The European Investment Bank's draft Climate Strategy, although it presents a few interesting technical opportunities, does not constitute a fully-fledged strategy: it lacks strong and measurable objectives, relevant action plans and clear implementation timelines to support those objectives. Bankwatch, urgewald, Counter Balance and WWF Europe therefore ask the EIB to make substantial amendments to the draft in the following three areas: energy efficiency, the cimate action target and the emissions performance standard.

Advocacy letter | August 17, 2015

On several occasions the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development stated that operations of its clients should comply with all international treaties and other legal obligations. In spite of these reassurances, Energoatom in Ukraine keeps ignoring its international obligations, as outlined in the Espoo Convention, in the processes of assessing the life-time extension of its nuclear reactors.

Advocacy letter | August 10, 2015

In this letter, Bankwatch asks the European Commission to reconsider the disbursement of the Euratom and EBRD loans for the Ukraine nuclear safety upgrade programme that effectively enables the lifetime extensions at Ukraine's nuclear reactors. The letter provides evidence for the intertwined character of the upgrade programme and the lifetime extensions and for Ukraine's refusal to meet its obligations under international conventions.

Advocacy letter | August 9, 2015

The European Commission stated in an earlier letter that any decision by Ukraine to extend the life-span of any of its nuclear power plants will require assessment under the Aarhus and Espoo Conventions. In this letter, Bankwatch offers evidence for how Ukraine is indeed extending the lifetimes of its nuclear reactors but not meeting its obligations under the conventions.

Advocacy letter | July 20, 2015

The Board of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a coalition of companies, governments, investors and civil society organisations has unanimously downgraded Azerbaijan to a "candidate country". Azerbaijan will be suspended from the EITI in April 2016 if it does not comply with a set of requirements that ensure civil society can work freely in the country.

Advocacy letter | July 19, 2015

On Wednesday 22 July the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will decide whether it will arrange a loan of up to $ 500 million to Russia’s Lukoil for the Shah Deniz II offshore gas project in Azerbaijan.

Together with the campaigners of Sport for Rights and sixteen other NGOs, Bankwatch has written a letter to the EBRD’s president and its directors. We urge them to reject the project because Azerbaijan fails the EBRD’s basic requirements which include human rights, multi-party democracy, rule of law and pluralism.

Advocacy letter | July 15, 2015

In this letter to EIB, civil society organisations point out that the EIB's forthcoming climate policy cannot only be limited to repackaging previous climate commitments or solely focusing on technical incremental changes. In the framework of the new EU 2030 climate and energy targets and the forthcoming international climate conference in Paris, ambitious new policy commitments are indispensable to make the EIB credible.