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EU accountability for the due diligence failures of the European Investment Bank: climate finance and involuntary resettlement in Olkaria, Kenya

Jeanette Schade

Keywords: climate finance; European Investment Bank; Mutual Reliance Initiative; involuntary resettlement; extraterritorial obligations; due diligence; EU accountability

A human rights impact assessment of a resettlement measure was conducted as part the ClimAccount research project. 1 The assessment looked specifically at the extraterritorial human rights obligations of the European Union in relation to its climate policies. The case in point was the resettlement of four Maasai communities due to the construction of a geothermal power plant, Olkaria IV, one of a number of large-scale renewable energy projects in Kenya. Olkaria IV was financed by the European Investment Bank (EIB) amongst others. The subsequent resettlement was investigated by the EIB's institutional complaint mechanism and the World Bank's Inspection Panel. The alleged human rights violations, which can partly be attributed to due diligence failures of the EIB and the other co-financiers, are analysed. The analysis includes a discussion of the delegation of due diligence obligations between the co-financers and whether this was in accordance with human rights law. Finally, the article explores the legal basis for holding the EIB and its shareholders, the EU and its member states, accountable. Strategies to improve EIB's human rights performance are proposed.

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