EIB begins metamorphosis into climate bank

(EurActiv, 9 Sep 2019) European Investment Bank (EIB) directors will begin discussing on Tuesday (10 September) an updated lending policy which could see the EU bank stop funding fossil fuel projects. But some member states and even the European Commission might push for a more reserved approach.

In July, the EIB published a draft version of its proposed lending policy for energy projects, which includes extra financing for less developed member states, a bigger focus on renewable sources and a phase-out of fossil fuels by 2020.

That latter decision has been hailed by environmental groups and the bank itself says that the new policy would make its activities coherent with the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

According to bank figures, the EIB lent more than €11 billion between 2013 and 2017 to fossil fuel projects. That was composed of nearly €8bln for gas infrastructure and €1.68bln for gas extraction.

Under the draft revision, the lender will not support “upstream oil or gas production, coal mining, infrastructure dedicated to coal, oil and natural gas, and power generation or heat production from fossil fuel sources”.

Exceptions will be made for very high-efficiency gas plants and heating boilers that are included in building renovation schemes.

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EurActiv, 9 Sep 2019: EIB begins metamorphosis into climate bank