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04 September 2013

Bankwatch: Pressure builds on EBRD to quit coal lending

Bankwatch: Pressure builds on EBRD to quit coal lending
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development lags behind other major international financial institutions that are moving away from supporting dirty energy projects, says Bankwatch, a watchdog group.

As the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development holds a series of consultations on its draft energy policy this week, pressure is growing on the bank to stop financing new fossil fuel projects, starting with coal, Bankwatch said in a press release today.

Despite major international public lenders such as the World Bank (WB) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) announcing tight limitations to their coal financing over the past months, the EBRD appears committed to keep financing the dirtiest of fossil fuels.

During the bank’s public consultation on Wednesday in Belgrade, Serbia, 350.org, SEE Change Net, CEKOR, Fractal, Bankwatch and other groups will be delivering to the EBRD a petition signed by 16 725 people asking the bank to stop financing fossil fuels, starting with coal. A similar event took place Monday in Istanbul and another action will take place this Friday in Moscow.

„The EBRD's new Energy Strategy is under the umbrella of the bank's Sustainable Energy Initiative and thus low carbon transition appears to be a central theme of the draft EBRD energy policy,” comments Bankwatch’s EBRD coordinator Fidanka Bacheva-McGrath. „Yet in practice this only translates into a slight reduction in coal investments while the general support to the fossil fuels sector continues as usual.” Read more at the Bankwatch website.


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