European Investment Bank

Much of the EIB’s lending is for projects outside of the EU. In recent years, the EIB has supported a number of large dam projects in the developing world, mostly in Africa and Southeast Asia. Unlike other multilateral development banks such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, the EIB has no clear environmental and social safeguard policies. It also has no comprehensive sector policy on dams. And with only three environmental specialists on staff, EIB also has a critical lack of capacity to assess potential projects and to monitor their impacts.

The EIB committed at the 2002 Earth Summit to integrate European Union climate change objectives into its policies and practices. The EIB later set an objective that by 2010, 50 percent of its energy lending within the EU will be directed to renewable energy and energy efficiency. Although the EIB claims to have financed 24 renewable energy projects outside Europe in the past decade, most of these are large dams that are non-compliant with the World Commission on Dams recommendations (and in some cases, also non-compliant with World Bank guidelines).

The EIB will sometimes approve a project before impact assessments of the proposed project are complete, or before all outstanding issues have been addressed (as for example with the Bujagali Dam, which was approved with major outstanding concerns still under investigation by the World Bank Inspection Panel).

More information: 
  • Multilateral Development Banks' Project Pipelines: A quarterly report on dam projects to watch out for at the the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the European Investment Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the International Finance Corporation, and the World Bank