News / 10 November 2009

Europe’s Controversial Investment Climate: A Documentary

At first glance, a dam in Uganda and a paper mill in Brazil don't seem to have much in common. Nevertheless, both projects are financed by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and both projects have a significant impact on the environment and the local population. The European Union is said to have great ambitions for the climate summit in Copenhagen, to be held in December.


The fact that projects such as large dams and energy guzzling industries can still count on the support of the European Investment Bank (EIB), means that one can only conclude that the EU climate policy contains contradictions. Both ENDS and media organisation Lokaalmondiaal made a documentary that focuses on the negative social and ecological impacts of such projects.


The Bujagali dam in Uganda, for which the EIB awarded a Euro 92 million loan, contributed to lower water levels in Lake Victoria, partly as a result of climate change. Part of the local population was forced to leave their land and saw their means of income - fishing, growing corn and keeping cattle - evaporate. In Brazil, people had to give up their farmland to make way for the arrival of the Veracel paper mill and a related eucalyptus plantation.

Both documentaries stress the fact that people in developing countries are more vulnerable to climate change. Whether it is by decreasing levels of water for drinking or fishing, or farmers' fields becoming dryer and less fertile. Large scale investment projects often render local populations extra vulnerable to climate change. On the little fertile soils a factory is build or a dam increases the drying up of a river even more. How can these people be expected to adapt to the impacts of climate change while major projects put their habitat at even greater risk?


Launch and Practical Information
On November 20 the two films will be launched during the political café "The cold fish 'in The Hague. But you can also download them from the following websites: and

There is a short version (± 7 minutes) and a longer version (± 20 minutes) of each documentary. All films are subtitled in English.


For questions about the films, formats and dvd copies, copyrights e.g. please contact:
Both ENDS, Leontien Aarnoudse.


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