Open Letter: Funding construction of a new landfill without recycling facilities is not acceptable in the age of human-caused-climate-crisis
On October 24, 2017 Armenian Environmental Front (AEF) civil initiative sent a letter to EBRD, EIB and Department of European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations regarding the loan provided to Armenia to construct a landfill that has no recycling option or possibility to generate renewable energy. The letter has remained unanswered. The content of the letter below:
EBRD, EIB and EU Neighborhood Investment Fund are investing around 24 million Euro in construction of a new landfill in Yerevan, Armenia which will have two important factors for sustainability perspectives missing from the project: waste recycling and option of getting renewable energy from burning the gasses produced in the landfill.
Apart from unsustainable aspects of this project, 8 million Euros investment is in form of a grant, while 16 million is in form of a loan. This is therefore an additional burden for Armenia whose debt is around 6 billion USD forming 55% of GDP. While you may not be very much concerned in how and why our country generated this debt, since for investors it is more important as how the country returns the debt, we believe for European institutions, whether public or private, it is important to be involved in sustainable projects, as European Union is one of the champions of promoting green policies within the borders of Europe.
For that reason, it is surprising and disappointing for us as an environmental group based in Armenia to see that despite championing for green policies in Europe, your institutions have agreed to fund a very unsustainable project in Armenia. Construction of any landfill anywhere in the world in 21st century that has no recycling option is a step back from sustainability path.
Therefore we would like to inquire why your institutions have contributed to such an unsustainable project, instead of pressuring your Armenian partners to present a more sustainable project?
In an article published on our website we clearly mentioned some of the advantages of the new landfill, however, we cannot ignore that Armenia has a chronic waste problem that has not been solved until now and this project doesn’t promise to solve it while the loan that is provided for it increases the debt burden on every citizen in Armenia. Therefore we as the citizens of Armenia have the full right to learn about the stance of the investors on this project and moreover, demand more sustainable alternatives from both the European investors and the Armenian state bodies.
We hope that you will avoid being complicit in investment and implementation of unsustainable projects and promote greener policies with the governments you cooperate with.”
Armenian Environmental Front (AEF) civil initiative