Development banks should comply with strict environmental and human rights rules to ensure that their projects benefit and do not harm the poorest groups. Both ENDS monitors the banks to make sure they do.
‘The polluter pays’ is a good principle, but what about the institutions that financially support polluting companies and projects? Shouldn’t banks, that are often major investors in unsustainable activities, take their responsibility and pay as well? In the end, these banks also cash in. Pieter Jansen of Both ENDS contributed to research about the ‘Green Credit Policy’ of Chines banks, executed by the Chinese NGO ‘Green Watershed’. Pieter Jansen of Both ENDS and Chen Yu of Green Watershed have launched the report 'Green Credit Footprints of Chinese Banks'.
Thanks to the negotiations about TTIP, the public debate about bilateral investment treaties (BITs) is slowly underway. Especially the ‘Investor-to-State Dispute Settlement Mechanism’ (ISDS) of TTIP threatens to lower the norms to protect people and the environment. BITs make use of very controversial arbitrage systems (ISDS), which enable investors to bypass the national court to sue governments for their national policies and laws.
Large-scale infrastructural projects have detrimental effects on local people and the environment, while their benefits are felt elsewhere. Both ENDS is working to ensure that local people have a greater say in decision-making and is investigating the way these projects are funded.
The Barro Blanco dam project in Panama, which has Dutch financial support, is causing indigenous lands to disappear under water. Both ENDS is working to protect the rights of indigenous communities living near the dam.
One of the side events Both ENDS and partners will host at the COP 21 in Paris, will touch the issue of local access to Climate Finance. Only if CSOs and local communities are really involved in the design of projects, we can ensure that climate investments meet social and environmental safeguards. See the official invitation below and also find more information about our other side-events during the Climate Change COP
Exporting goods or exporting debts? Eurodad, the European network on debt and development of which Both ENDS is a member, released a new research about the often disastrous effects of Export Credit Guarantees.
The United States Senate has sent a letter to the US Treasury, calling for better enforcement of the World Bank’s social and environmental rules. These rules, the so called ‘safeguards’, are meant to prevent the World Banks projects from causing social and environmental damage. But these safeguards are not always adhered to, and are likely to become even weaker as the Bank’s Board is currently revising them. Therefore, Pieter Jansen from Both ENDS, together with different partners from civil society organisations from all over the world, informed Republicans as well as Democrats about the negative consequences of the investments of the World Bank on local communities. Successfully, as the letter shows.
A report published yesterday by Amnesty Central America shows that the plans for a new canal leads to numerous violations of human rights in Nicaragua. And that's even before the works have started. Many organisations therefore protest against the canal, supported by Both ENDS.