For the last decade, the government of Georgia has promoted hydropower as a way of tackling energy security and turning the country into a regional energy player. The EBRD has been one of the key catalysts of this hydro boom. Yet the presence of the EBRD and other international financial institutions has not been enough to ensure the development of comprehensive energy strategies, robust project assessments and meaningful public consultations. The potential for social and environmental problems is therefore prevalent.
As part of its new EUR 200 million loan to the Serbian electricity company EPS, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development aims to assist with “identifying opportunities to improve environmental, safety, social, and labour governance and capacity, and on helping EPS to develop a more strategic approach to managing these issues”. As outlined in this briefing, so far the EBRD's fifteen-year partnership with EPS has not brought visible improvements in company practices and it is high time for the bank to prove that its engagement can add value.
Myronivsky Hliboproduct PJSC, also known as MHP, is a long-term client of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Following loands in 2013 and 2010, the EBRD approved a USD 85 million loan on 28 October 2015 to support MHP's agricultural working capital needs. While the agricultural sector is widely viewed as one of the engines of the Ukrainian economy, MHP's operations are having a range of negative impacts on local communities.
A group of 27 NGOs sent an open letter to the President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) today urging the Bank not to finance the Southern Gas Corridor, a 3500 kilometres-long chain of gas pipelines from Azerbaijan to Europe.
A new report launched today documents the hurdles communities and workers face in obtaining remedy from development banks whose projects cause them harm. The 11 civil society organizations that authored the report, Glass Half Full? The State of Accountability in Development Finance, call on development banks and the governments that run them to strengthen their systems for providing remedy to those harmed by the activities financed by the banks.
Real development respects human rights and is shaped by the people it is designed to benefit. However, development projects financed by development finance institutions in many cases has been associated with the dispossession of land, loss of resources, diminished livelihoods and environmental degradation. Accountability mechanisms in theory aim to ensure that people who have been harmed by these projects receive adequate remedy. As this report shows, however, these accountability mechanisms to a large extent fail to fulfil this function, not least because they operate in a constrained environment constructed by the institutions that administer them.
No-one will 'freeze to death' if the planned lignite-fired power plant in Kosovo does not receive support from multilateral development banks, but if it does, low-income households may well end up choosing between electricity and food. How can an institution, whose very mission is to end poverty, justify this project?
The latest blow to the highly controversial 68 megawatt Boškov Most hydropower plant, that has attracted EUR 65 million in financing from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), was dealt in early December by the Standing Committee of the Bern Convention, the European wildlife treaty.
An ageing nuclear unit in the South Ukraine power plant has become the latest to have its expiry date rewritten by Ukrainian authorities, despite a number of pending safety issues and concerns over compliance with international treaties.