EBRD paves slippery slope for private banks to invest in coal in the Balkans
EBRD claims to `follow highest standards of corporate governance and sustainable development` in its special report on climate change `The low carbon transition`.
The multinational development bank carries the responsibility to set an example for both public and private investors.
The EBRD however, is providing funding to some of the most outrageous and environmentally destructive projects in the European coal sector.
The attitude in Europe towards this outdated and climate destructive natural resource is represented well if you consider that the 26 EU member states are all showing opposition to coal, with the exception, of Poland. An unacceptable attitude from the EU President!
The use of coal is an environmental and political provocation as it has been acknowledged as one of the most carbon heavy energy resource. Coal based energy generation is a slap on the face of European climate initiatives and in dire opposition to the EU`s ambition to cut emission and head towards a low carbon economy.
The carbon and emission heavy energy projects outside of the EU borders are developed based on a set of criteria that is not compatible with EU legislations. For instance the Stanari coal plant by the Energy Finance Team in Bosnia, shows lower efficiency rates that could not pass EU requirements therefore it is creating a future challenge for Bosnia and Herzegovina when negotiating its EU membership.
The low efficiency rate will result in higher carbon emission in the country. This phenomenon is carbon leakage and the investment provided by the EBRD or any private banks is encouraging that.
The region of the Western Balkans has great reserves of lignite which enables energy planning to head down the questionable route of establishing more mines and proposing more power plants.
Such investments hold sky-high risks:
For instance the TES6 plant in Slovenia. EBRD has put its name to it in spite of the mass outrage from local communities, environmental organizations and the pending police investigation into the alleged corruption that is lingering around the project. Find out more here: http://www.banktrack.org/show/dodgydeals/tes_6_coal_power_plant
BankTrack and its European Anti-Coal Network works closely with civil society and environmental organizations around Europe to bring the attention of investors to the danger of providing finances to coal fired power plants and to the coal industry.
In particular commercial banks that are exposed to reputation risks are expected to show sensible and sound investment strategies and to halt any investment into coal fired power plant in Europe, immediately.