London, 1 June: The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) have signed a declaration promising to apply the EU’s principles on environmental protection to project financing.In order to secure a loan from the banks, a project should now adhere to the European Principles for the Environment (EPE), which are based on EU environmental legislation and the environmental principles enshrined in the treaties underpinning the EU.
However, campaign groups are already saying that the declaration does not go far enough, because the requirement is subject to the banks’ environmental policies and, outside of Europe, subject to local conditions.
Stoczkiewicz also expressed concern about how the principles would be applied to projects financed by the EIB in Latin America and Asia. “These conditions will not necessarily come from the country’s legislation or the country’s government itself,” she said.
Arango said that it would not be practicable to expect projects in developing countries to adhere to some EU legislation. He said: “We do not go down the line of dumping environmental externalities on developing countries. When you go into developing countries, you have to be realistic.”