As a kid, did you ever stand around while two of your mates wrestled each other, hair mussed up, satchels flying shouting: “bundle! bundle!”? Well, prepare to relive that moment, albeit in a more grown-up eco business way, for a two NGOs, CEE Bankwatch Network and Friends of the Earth Europe, have demanded the EU lay off “50 environmentally damaging and economically dubious infrastructure projects” worth some €22 billion.
Those projects generating ire include motorways and incinerators. Instead of pumping EU funds into the projects, they should be pumping funds into recycling and renewable energy.
Martin Konecny, Coordinator for EU funds at FoEE said:
“EU funding support for Central and Eastern European countries is necessary and welcome. But if the money drives reckless developments and environmental destruction, its potential to deliver benefits is being wasted. The map shows that harmful projects are unfortunately not limited to a few isolated exceptions. Yet these problems are wholly unnecessary because alternatives exist. The European Commission and the EIB should call a halt to such projects and demand that alternative solutions are properly assessed.”
Meanwhile Bankwatch is also part of a call by 18 non-governmental organisations from across South East Europe to demand the withdrawal of political support “for a rash of environmentally and economically destructive power plants planned for the region” – and none of which includes any renewables.
Fidanka Bacheva-McGrath, South East Europe coordinator of CEE Bankwatch Network, said:
“Looking at the list of priority energy projects for our region, it’s like being back in the 1950s again. You would think that CO2 reduction targets and renewable energy had never happened. It’s bad enough that national-level decision-makers come up with these emission-spewing projects, but for the international community to support them is unforgivable.”