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Briefing | February 12, 2016

The so-called European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) should unlock additional investment of at least EUR 315 bn over a three year period (2015-2018). One of the projects benefiting from the loans is the intended “third industrial revolution” in Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France, which incorporates numerous smaller projects all working for the same goal: A zero carbon energy system for the entire region. The particular financing mix could potentially serve as a good example for an investment platform under EFSI.

Study | February 11, 2016

This report summarises the mining activity proposed by Oyu Tolgoi in its Phase 2 development plan, describes the block caving underground mining technology planned for the large deep ore body to be mined in Phase 2, environmental impacts and reclamation potential of block cave mines, and issues and risks associated with future OT power supply, international metal market price uncertainties, and OT Phase 1 and 2 impacts on water resources and herders and their livelihood in the region surrounding the OT mine license area.

Briefing | February 2, 2016

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. The Nenskra hydropower plant is yet another project that lacks the proper assessment and has failed to gain acceptance from the local communities.

Briefing | February 1, 2016

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.

Briefing | February 1, 2016

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.

Briefing | January 31, 2016

The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) aims to leverage through the European Investment Bank (EIB) financing for a total of EUR 315 billion in new projects by 2018. The guarantee fund should target projects with a higher risk profile than normal EIB investments and should as well increase lending for investments which significantly contribute to achieving European common policy objectives ("European added-value"). This briefing outlines necessary improvements in the EFSI implementation to realise these aims.

Advocacy letter | January 28, 2016

In this letter, a group of 27 non-governmental organisations urge the President of the European Investment Bank not to finance the Southern Gas Corridor, a 3500 kilometres-long chain of gas pipelines from Azerbaijan to Europe. As the EIB considers granting the biggest loan of its history to the Consortium in charge of developing the western section of the project, the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), the group of NGOs warns about its most controversial aspects.

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Study | January 27, 2016

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.

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Study | January 26, 2016

This report published by Bankwatch and Friends of the Earth Europe shows how bad spending plans and a lack of climate commitments from nine central and eastern European governments is hampering Europe’s transition away from fossil fuels.

The research reveals that in CEE countries only 7 per cent of the 178 billion euros in European Regional Development and Cohesion Funds will be invested into renewables, energy efficiency and smart grids, and that the integration of climate considerations into all plans and projects – as required under EU law – remains superficial.

Advocacy letter | January 25, 2016

Following the revelations around Volkswagen cheating emission tests, Bankwatch requested information from the European Investment Bank about its loans to the car maker. After delays, incomplete disclosure, and a frist confirmatory application, the bank released on December 18, 2015 redacted finance contracts between the EIB and VW as well as redacted completion reports provided by VW to the EIB at the closure of each project. (See all documents here.)

Briefing | January 21, 2016

The Ukrainian government continues to disregard the legal conditions attached to the financial support it receives from the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Euratom for its nuclear safety upgrade program.

Bankwatch Mail | December 17, 2015

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.

Bankwatch Mail | December 17, 2015

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.

Bankwatch Mail | December 17, 2015

A new Bankwatch report has found that loans totalling EUR 818 million from international public ‘development’ banks have supported 75 hydropower projects in the Balkans, including 30 which directly affect protected areas such as national parks, Natura 2000 sites and Ramsar sites.

Bankwatch Mail | December 17, 2015

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the China-led financial institution, has emerged as a multilateral development bank with the backing of 57 members in record time. Jin Liqun, president designate of the new financial institution set up to provide financing for infrastructure projects in south east Asia and countries along the Silk Road route in South Asia, Central Asia, the Caucasus and the periphery of Europe, has declared that the AIIB will be a ‘lean, clean, and green’ institution which upholds the highest standards of 21st century governance. Early doubts, though, hang over these aspirations.