Georgia swept by protests against EBRD-backed hydropower

Protests have in recent weeks broken out across rural Georgia after construction resumed on several large hydropower projects financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). At the sites of the Shuakhevi, Nenskra and the Dariali hydropower plants (HPPs), demonstrators have complained that the projects were repeatedly decided behind closed doors, and that poor assessments of the social and environmental consequences mean their livelihoods are under threat.

While frustrations with a lack of action by officials has tensions running high across Georgia’s villages, the EBRD annual meetings are an opportunity to discuss how best to prevent the escalation of thissituation in Georgia and to reflect critically on the bank’s involvement in the development of the country’s energy sector.