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EBRD sticks to business as usual despite Ukraine facing war and severe shortages

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.

The Great Rush - The European Union's responsibility in natural resources grabbing

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Land, forests, water and raw materials are valuable resources that increasingly interest the major players of the economy of our planet. This report collects 16 case studies from around the world in order to better understand the impacts of natural resource grabbing on the local communities, clarify the responsibilities of the European Union and, in conclusion, examine actions to be undertaken to invert this phenomenon.

The Boskov Most hydropower plant, Macedonia

The Boskov Most hydropower plant includes an accumulation dam 33 metres in height and a power plant with a total capacity of 68MW, Around 80 per cent of the project falls within the territory of the Mavrovo national park, the largest and richest national park in Macedonia. Three years after the signing of a loan agreement over EUR 65 million from the EBRD, little progress has been made with the project. This briefing details several reasons why the project should not receive support from the EBRD.

European Banks are most opaque multilateral organisations, 2014 Aid Transparency Index

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) are ranked 16th and 17th respectively out of 17 multilateral organisations on the 2014 Aid Transparency Index (ATI) which is published today. The transparency index comes at a momentous time for the EIB as the institution is currently reviewing its transparency policy and NGOs fear that the ‘EU bank’ is preparing to further downgrade its transparency requirements.

Flood impacts kept secret by hydropower plant constructor in Georgia

Georgian Urban Energy (GUE), the company in charge of constructing the Paravani hydropower plant (HPP), has been keeping secret a study on the potential flooding risks associated with the facility, despite requests and promises from the EBRD that such an analysis would be made public.

On Evgeny Vitishko, multilateral development banks and the criminalisation of public criticism

The recent rejection to release Evgeny Vitishko's, an imprisoned environmental activist in Russia, illustrates the backlash against fundamental rights and freedoms in some countries. Multilateral development banks need to take notice of this trend and be more wary of the risk that their lending may strengthen authoritarian regimes.

Ukraine’s energy sector: badly in need of repair

Source: Karel Beckmann, Energy Post

Ukraine’s energy sector faces unprecedented challenges, from a reliance on expensive fossil-fuel imports to inefficient infrastructure and markets. But rather than viewing this as a vulnerability, Ukraine’s energy sector is potentially a low-hanging fruit for reform, notes a new report from the NGO CEE Bankwatch Network.

Will Ukrainian coal hijack today's Energy Community meeting?

Currently presiding over the EU-backed Energy Community's Minsterial Council, Ukraine will likely try to dilute environmental regulations in the Treaty. But the country's ageing coal-fired power plants are troubled by inefficiency and pollution and in dire need of environmental improvements.

Energy Community meeting must deliver reforms

Brussels – A group of leading NGOs active in the Balkan region are calling for urgent reform of the Energy Community Treaty, as its Ministerial Council prepares to meet in Kiev on September 23rd. The groups are calling for both the expansion of the environmental and climate component of the Treaty and measures to ensure that existing obligations are better enforced.

Cross-border coal pollution for the first time under scrutiny by UN body

A new unit at the Kostolac coal-fired power plant in Serbia is the first coal project to be considered by the Espoo Convention Implementation Committee for transboundary impacts.

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