Labelled the €1.3 trillion investment offensive, more than 2000 projects have been identified by the European Commission’s new Task Force on Investment (made up of representatives of the EC, EIB and member states) for fast-tracked financing from President Juncker’s recently announced €315 billion stimulus plan.
The letters were sent shortly before the EBRD's board of directors are to approve a loan for the Naftogaz Emergency Pipeline Upgrade and Modernisation project. Since the project has not yet passed through all environmental and social procedures, Bankwatch asked the EBRD's president and its board in separate letters to postpone the board decision.
Brussels – A list of projects member states want to see financed from the Juncker investment package has been made public in expectation of tomorrow’s summit where finance ministers will discuss the package. Coal, nuclear and incinerators are among the various countries’ priorities, which fail to add up to the long-term strategic plan to stimulate growth and sustainability in Europe that Juncker promised.
In October this year, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) approved an up to EUR 50 million loan to a Belarusian subsidiary of the Austrian company Kronospan for the expansion of a particleboard facility at Smorgon in the Grodno region of Belarus. Belarus will provide a guaranteed return on investment for both Kronospan and the EBRD. With the country’s rich wood resources, generous state tax incentives, weak legal environment, toothless trade unions, cheap labour and a generally stifled civil society, the EBRD and its client are not likely to run into the same environmental and legal difficulties experienced by Kronospan in other eastern European countries.
Bankwatch and Polish Green Network analysed the final drafts of the Regional Operational Programmes of Poland's voivodeships. The report "Green energy for all" shows how ambitious (or not) the Polish regions are to invest in a low-carbon economy, in particularly when it comes to renewable energy and energy efficiency in residential buildings. It also contains six recommendations for Polish regions to make the most of the low-carbon potential of Regional Funds.
With Ukraine’s ongoing fight for sovereignty and integrity emphasising once more the country’s energy vulnerability in front of Russia, the need to radically reform the Ukrainian energy sector became crucial for the survival of the country. And yet, moves in this direction are way too slow. Despite positive rhetoric on the need to prioritise energy efficiency, some European donors such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development continue with business as usual, spending huge resources on large infrastructure projects that do not address the country’s immediate need for improved energy security.
Prague – The Visegrad plus 2 countries (Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, together with Romania and Bulgaria) have all included a strong statement of support for the Southern Gas Corridor into their comments to the drafted EU 2030 Council conclusions to begin in Brussels this Thursday.