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Bankwatch Mail | December 17, 2015

No matter how you look at it, the so-called sustainable energy approach being taken – and loudly trumpeted – by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is simply at odds with both climate science and the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Bankwatch Mail | December 17, 2015

In the run-up to, during and now, with a global deal reached, after the Paris climate summit, the world’s largest public lender, the European Investment Bank (EIB), is positioning itself as a climate pioneer. But is the bank really fit for this role? Can the EIB make a break from its history of financing fossil fuels and polluting forms of transportation after decades of cosy relations with the biggest culprits?

Bankwatch Mail | December 17, 2015

The MDB Climate Change Scorecard, published by Bank Information Center and Sierra Club during COP21, highlights how none of the world’s biggest multi-lateral development banks is on track to help keep the world below 2 degrees warming, and reveals how the seven banks in question – including the World Bank, the EIB and the EBRD – are continuing to support fossil fuel projects in developing countries.

Bankwatch Mail | December 17, 2015

As efforts to realise a mega gas pipeline along the Southern Gas Corridor intensify, Re:Common’s Elena Gerebizza explains how democratic rights are at stake – and are being trampled on.

Bankwatch Mail | December 17, 2015

Bankwatch has been taking a look at EU financing for the energy sector in 16 European Neighbourhood countries between 2007 and 2014. Alarmingly, our research has uncovered that out of at least EUR 9 billion provided by the EU to energy projects in the ENP region during the period under assessment, more than EUR 4.2 billion in financing went to hydrocarbons in contrast to the EUR 1.5 billion awarded to low carbon sources of energy and energy efficiency projects.

Bankwatch Mail | December 17, 2015

The case of the Tsumeb smelter in Namibia demonstrates how European pollution is being exported to the Global South with the indirect help of public development money.

Bankwatch Mail | December 17, 2015

A closer look at Europe’s recent investments in Ukraine’s agriculture sector shows that the failure to apply high transparency standards and social safeguards poses not only business risks but also undermines Ukraine’s democratisation process.

Bankwatch Mail | December 17, 2015

A barely eight kilometre long section of an express road in central Poland is becoming another battlefield in the long-running conflict between Polish road authorities on one side and European biodiversity protection laws, and environmental NGOs trying to uphold them, on the other. Except this time, it’s not just about the law – it’s also about the money.

Bankwatch Mail | December 17, 2015

The social and environmental policies of the World Bank – commonly referred to as the ‘Safeguards’ – have been under review since 2012. In July 2015, as part of this review, the World Bank, released a second draft of the Safeguards for consultation and public comments.

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Bankwatch Mail | December 17, 2015

Published after the conclusion of the UN climate negotiations in Paris, Issue 63 of Bankwatch Mail presents ample evidence of how the EBRD and the EIB continue to be firmly tied to fossil fuel financing, in spite of increasing pressure to do more to end support for carbon-intensive sources of energy.

And even when multilateral development banks say they’re doing ‘clean energy’ some of the effects are proving to be catastrophic – as the impacts of IFI-backed hydropower projects across the Balkans show.

We also take a look at the new kid on the IFI block, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and consider among other things how its ambition to be ‘lean, clean, and green’ sits with apparent plans for the new bank to help fire up a lot of coal power plants across Asia.

Briefing | December 15, 2015

An assessment of the application of the “European Code of Conduct on Partnership” during the establishment of the national implementation bodies and the first phase of ESI Funds implementation in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Poland and Slovakia.

Advocacy letter | December 15, 2015

In light of the worrying findings of a study on hydropower projects in southeast Europe - most notably the high number of projects in protected areas - this letter asks the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to better implement its environmental and social policy and hydropower sustainability criteria, establish no-go zones in protected areas and rivers of outstanding quality, and disclose project information about projects with a clear environmental impact which are financed through financial intermediaries.

Leaflet | December 14, 2015

A wave of hydropower development fuelled by European public funding and EU companies is endangering pristine river environments in the Balkans.

Advocacy letter | December 14, 2015

An update on the contentious EBRD project and its client, following a field visit by Bankwatch and partners to the mining site in October 2015

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Study | December 11, 2015

Southeast Europe is experiencing a wave of hydropower projects. In a region with a deadly combination of Europe's last wild rivers, rampant corruption and inadequate nature protection, the potential for damage is immense. In order to address this issue, we need to know who is making it happen. This research aims - to the extent possible given the secrecy around the financial sector - to find out who are the main actors involved in financing hydropower projects in the region, both overall and inside of protected areas.

Update January 2017

The EBRD has said that financing has been cancelled for four small hydropower plants in Macedonia: Zrnovska reka 1, Zrnovska reka 2, Estericka reka, Kadina reka.

In addition, financing has been cancelled for the 68 MW Boskov Most plant in the Mavrovo National Park, also in Macedonia.

Regarding the Ternove SHPP in Albania, the EBRD has said that it had conducted an on-site investigation into the concerns received in a letter from an affected citizen. The bank found nothing to substantiate the allegations. Bankwatch will continue to monitor the issue.