miércoles, 1 de junio de 2011

Banco Europeo de Inversión deja de apoyar a la GLENCORE

EIB bans Glencore after pressure from CSOs, the press and the European Parliament

Yesterday the European Investment Bank (EIB) announced that it will not finance projects of the world largest commodity trader Glencore until an internal investigation has thrown light on the heavy accusations against the Swiss multinational. Les Amis de la Terre, SHERPA and Counter Balance welcome this decision but ask the Bank to adopt more stringent standards of selection for its projects.
The decision was taken after pressure from civil society in Europe and Zambia, critical articles in the international press and an open letter from over 50 MEPs asking for a moratorium on public financing for mining projects[1].
According to Anne-Sophie Simpere, member of Counter Balance and Les Amis de la Terre, “the EIB’s decision is an interesting first step. However we regret this decision was only taken after external pressure. We expect the bank to be proactive and apply stringent standards and thorough due diligence to avoid European funds being invested in controversial projects. Considering past EIB support to other mining companies in Africa with questionable reputations regarding fiscal or environmental policies, it will take more than a symbolic announcement.”
Mining companies that received loans from the EIB include: Eramet, prosecuted for pollution in Gabon, First Quantum Minerals, which has different subsidies in tax havens, or Ambtovy Minerals, which has destroyed hectares of forest in Madagascar.
In 2005, the EIB has granted a EUR 48 million loan to Mopani Copper Mines (MCM), a subsidiary of Glencore, with the aim of modernising the smelter of its copper mine and promoting development of the region[2]. However a recent Counter Balance report showed these aspirations are in vain considering the heavy social and environmental burden the company puts on the region[3]. Additionally, assumptions of tax dodging and transfer mispricing[4] led to a complaint against Glencore – by 5 organisations among which SHERPA and CTPD – for violation of the OECD’s arm’s length principles[5].
“The EIB decision is important”, says Maud Perdriel-Vassiere, from association SHERPA. “Every year, developing countries lose USD 400 to 440 billion of income due to tax dodging companies such as Glencore. Creating a precedent is essential for stopping this scandal”
Alerted by the situation, over 50 Members of European Parliament asked last week for a moratorium on public financing for mining projects in Africa.
Les Amis de la Terre, SHERPA and Counter Balance support this demand for “a moratorium on the EU’s public funding for mining – including EIB support – for as long as strong binding standards are not in place to guarantee the application of regulations that will prevent cases like Mopani from happening”[6]
Press contact:
Counter Balance | Berber Verpoest : +32 484 508 416
Les Amis de la Terre Ι Caroline Prak : +33 6 86 41 53 43 / +33 1 48 51 18 96
SHERPA Ι Rachel Leenhardt : +331 42 21 33 25

[1] see http://www.counterbalance-eib.org/?p=1273
[3] see the report: “Mopani copper mine Zambia – How European development money has fed a mining scandal” http://www.counterbalance-eib.org/?p=347
[4] see http://www.counterbalance-eib.org/?p=751
[5] see http://www.counterbalance-eib.org/?p=1184
[6] see open letter from 50 MEPs  http://www.counterbalance-eib.org/?p=1270

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