Disproportionate public subsidies for small hydropower in the Western Balkans have resulted in widespread environmental damage and have benefited wealthy business people close to or part of the region’s governments, with little benefit for electricity generation, finds a new study released today by CEE Bankwatch Network.
As a result of public resistance to small-scale hydropower projects in the Balkans, and in consequence to the milestone bank summit between the financial sector and green activists on March 1st, the EBRD is considerably tightening its standards: the bank will ask commercial banks to refer all high-risk projects – including all hydropower plants – for additional checks, starting with 2020.
How come that a destructive project like that is being approved within a protected area? How can it be that a project within a protected area even receives funding? How is it possible that the funding comes from a European public development bank, the EBRD? Read how that happens in this Bankwatch webstory...
The study finds that the number of hydropower projects in the region that enjoy financial support from multilateral development banks and commercial banks, is even greater than previously known.
HPPs are popping up in Albania like bunkers in Hoxha’s time – with little regard for people and nature, just like in the “old days”. Only that it is not Hoxha, but the EBRD and other international donors financing the loss of nature and livelihoods, while priding themselves with their alleged environmental standards. Read Bankwatch’s blog post...
The Vjosa is by far not the only river in Albania threatened by hydropower. At the Qarishte river in central Albania, residents are faced with the dire consequences of the Rapuni dam. Read this webstory by CEE Bankwatch Network.
A wave of hydropower development fuelled by European public funding and EU companies is endangering pristine river environments in the Balkans, finds a new study by CEE Bankwatch Network released today. The extensive analysis shows that multilateral development banks are playing a key role.