Time for EU bank to comply with EU’s climate objectives

(EurActiv, 25 Feb 2019) As the European Investment Bank (EIB) holds a meeting in Brussels today (25 February) to consult the public on its new energy policy, Wendel Trio reflects on the role the EU’s bank should have in tackling the climate crisis.

Wendel Trio is the director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, an environmental pressure group.

The climate clock is ticking. Every day we hear of a new species of fish that is likely to go extinct due to the steady rise of temperatures, or another glacier that will melt, or another community that will struggle to survive.

In its latest report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) described the devastating and even irreversible consequences of global warming beyond 1.5°C. To keep the 1.5°C objective within reach, the IPCC called for an immediate and unprecedented economic shift. Profound changes in our society thus need to happen, and to happen fast.

The report warns that at current emissions rates, the world would breach 1.5 degrees by around 2040. In order to avoid this, deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions must be achieved within the next decade, which means that phasing out the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions – the oil, gas, and coal mainly for energy generation – will be essential and extremely urgent.

The EU is currently considering committing to ‘net zero emissions’ by 2050 at the latest. But as one of the most capable regions for tackling climate change, it needs to act at much greater speed and scale. How? For instance, by channeling its funds wisely.

Alongside current discussions on climate proofing the next post-2020 EU budget, a key actor in the European finance landscape should be in the spotlight: the Luxembourg-based European Investment Bank (EIB).

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EurActiv, 25 Feb 2019: Time for EU bank to comply with EU’s climate objectives