The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has tried to fend off accusations that it is supporting projects in central and eastern Europe which place too much emphasis on road transport.
CEE Bankwatch Network has slammed the EBRD’s 2005-2008 transport operations policy for lacking clear objectives and commitments on the promotion of sustainable transport across the regions it covers.
According to Bankwatch, 52% of the 400 million euros the EBRD invests for the transport sector in the CEECs is currently being channelled into road projects. And it says the trend is set to continue with the bank’s planned transport operations in 2005-2008.
“The new EBRD transport policy fails to address these damaging trends which are impacting heavily on social welfare, helping to accelerate climate change and causing irreversible damage to our region’s biodiversity,” said Bankwatch’s Transport Coordinator Anelia Stefanova.
Among these are railway privatisation and restructuring projects, which according to Bankwatch, will result in the closure of thousands of kilometres of railway lines and heavy job cuts. Other unsustainable trends cited by Bankwatch are funding for air transport projects despite the absence of tax on kerosene and the impact of aviation on climate change.