cyberaction : let’s stop the EU’s financing of large dams in Southern countries!
cyberaction posted on 08/03/2012, by : Friends of the Earth in partnership with : AITEC International Association of Technicians, Experts and Researchers), ATTAC, Both Ends, CADTM Belgium, CADTM France, Campagna per la Riforma della Banca Mondial, CCFD-Terre Solidaire, CEE Bankwatch, Coordination SUD, CounterBalance, CRID, Ecologistas en Acción, France Libertés, Friends of the Earth Slovakia-CEPA, Engineers without borders, International Rivers, Africa Europe Faith and Justice Network, One Planet Only Network, Ritimo, Sherpa, Survie, Urgewald.
Will be sent to : Werner Hoyer – President of the European Investment Bank, in copy to : - M. Philippe de FONTAINE VIVE CURTAZ, Vice-president of the responsible for relations with NGO’s - M. Plutarchos SAKELLARIS, Vice-president of the EBI responsible for financing ACP countries and in Southern Africa and the energy sector
Will end on : 15/03/2013
The European Investment Bank (EBI) is the public Bank of the European Union. Given a mandate for development and education, it has nonetheless granted EUR 900 million in loans to large dams in Southern countries. These large dams produce energy that's neither clean nor sustainable: their consequences are disastrous for the environment and local populations. The time has come for the European Union’s bank to stop supporting these harmful projects and redirect its finances towards small hydroelectric and other truly renewable energy sources! To put pressure on the EIB, sign our cyber action!
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Friends of the Earth and twenty other French and international organisations ask that the European Union’s public Bank ends the financing of large dams and that it supports small hydroelectric and other truly renewable energy sources!
Under the pretext of financing clean and sustainable energy, the European Investment Bank has granted close to EUR 900 million since 2003 to large dams in Southern countries. In Africa, the EBI has financed 8 dams but hasn’t invested a single euro towards education or health care!
These mega-projects don’t benefit local populations and are disastrous for the environment.
1)Large dams are not « green ».
Their construction creates reservoirs that free large quantities of greenhouse gasses caused by the decomposition of organic material from submerged forests and land. An estimate says at least 4% of all emitted greenhouse gasses worldwide is caused by dams: that’s more than the entire aviation industry.
2)They disrupt the functioning of ecosystems and the flow of waterways: 60% of rivers have been altered profoundly by large dams.
Deforestation, reduction of fertile land, degradation of fish stocks and water quality all have enormous impacts on the living conditions of local communities. Furthermore, the retention of water creates a terrain vulnerable to diseases such as dengue fever and malaria.
3)Large dams do not allow, particularly in rural areas, access to energy for everyone.
The price of construction and maintenance affect the selling price, out of reach of the poor population. In reality, the energy produced by the large dams mostly feeds demands from large industries. In Cameroon, the EBI is preparing to finance the construction of the dam Lom Pangar to enable the expansion of an aluminium foundry, while half of the population has no access to electricity.
Why does the European Investment Bank, which has to contribute to the EU’s objectives in Southern countries, in particular eradicating poverty and sustainable development, get involved in these large dams under such conditions?
In reality, it seems that the EIB judges its projects primarily on their profitability. Moreover, the EIB lacks alarmingly in social and environmental standards and settles for impact studies performed by those advocating for approval of its projects. These shortcomings have been made painfully apparent by certain projects it backs: the tunnel of the Gilgel Gibe 2 dam in Ethiopia collapsed in the beginning of 2010, only a few days after its inauguration; the Dos Mares hydroelectric project (owned for 100% by the French group GDF Suez) caused the flooding of a village in August 2010 after opening a lock…
Faced with the neglect of the European Investment Bank, we invite you to petition its president and demand from the EIB:
- A redirection of its financing priorities towards small hydroelectricity and other truly renewable energy sources, guaranteeing access to sustainable energy for all.
- To put a stop to the financing of large dams as long as the EBI does not adopt better and more specific international environmental and social standards.
- Start a multiparty evaluation of its loan policies for energy to determine how EBI loans can ensure the development of truly renewable energy that benefits the poorest parts of the population, whilst fulfilling the European Union’s development objectives.
For more information you can download our campaign document here or on our website: www.amisdelaterre.org/grandsbarrages.
More information on pdf document http://www.cyberacteurs.org/pdf/va_final.pdf
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