Why we should back the EIB on ambitious energy policy

(EurActiv, 14 Oct 2019) As part of putting the Paris Agreement into action, the EU and its member states should back the European Investment Bank’s proposal to cease fossil investments, writes Sir Graham Watson.

Sir Graham Watson is a member of the European Economic and Social Committee who works on energy issues. From 1994-2014, he served as a member of the European Parliament, including seven years as leader of its Liberal Democratic Group. He was a co-founder and for ten years president of the Climate Parliament initiative.

To give the world a fighting chance of delivering the Paris Agreement, the European Commission and Member States should confirm the European Investment Bank policy to end fossil investments by 2020 at a board meeting this week.

Faced with the crisis of climate change, the world’s largest multilateral bank—the European Investment Bank (EIB)—earlierthis year drafted an energy policy to phase out its fossil fuel lending by 2020.

This week, when the EIB board meets to decide on the proposal, the eyes of the world will be on Europe: will it lead the world into phasing out public funding for fossil fuel investments?

The upcoming decision will have broad ramifications for Europe and the rest of the world. Should the proposal be adopted, it will be leadership that many financial institutions will follow, including the other multilateral development banks that are working with the EIB to decide how they can align their lending to the Paris Agreement.

Should the proposal fail or be watered down, it will diminish the credibility of Europe’s commitment to addressing climate change under the Paris Agreement—and rightly so.

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EurActiv, 14 Oct 2019: Why we should back the EIB on ambitious energy policy