EU leaders keep saying climate is a priority. Here’s something they can do

(Climate Change News, 6 Jun 2019) Fixing our climate is one of the biggest challenges our politicians will have to face in the years to come, and more and more of them are committing to making this a top political priority.

However, non-binding progressive statements aside, do our representatives really jump at all the chances they have to make sure Europe is on the right track to contain climate change?

A real opportunity is coming up next Friday, when the 28 finance ministers of the EU Member States gather in Luxembourg wearing their hats of “governors” of the European Investment Bank (EIB). This summit happens once a year, and the ministers are called to define the key priorities of the little-known EU bank for the year to come.

Climate change should fit perfectly in those discussions. All the more since the bank is now drafting a new energy lending policy, which is supposed to affect exactly the kind of projects that will make the difference in paddling in favour or against the radical changes that we need to fight global warming.

Taking a step back, it’s crucial to underline the importance of the EIB’s potential leading role in the global climate fight.

Managing billions of euros in energy projects every year, the EIB is not just another bank. It’s the world’s largest multilateral lender, even larger than the World Bank. It is the financial arm of the European Union, a public institution. Its energy choices are thus key to set the world on the right path to protect our climate.

Yet, so far the EIB has largely financed climate-damaging fossil fuel projects – the NGO Bankwatch reported that the bank lent nearly €12 billion to fossil fuels between 2013 and 2017 – while calling itself a “climate leader”.

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Climate Change News, 6 Jun 2019: EU leaders keep saying climate is a priority. Here’s something they can do