The board of the European Investment Bank (EIB) agreed last week (November 14) a new energy lending policy with an increased ambition for climate action and environmental sustainability.
The bank will prioritise energy efficiency by supporting the new EU target of stopping funding fossil fuels by 2021 and it will enable decarbonisation through increased support for low or zero-carbon technology.
It will also increase financing for decentralised energy production, innovative energy storage, and e-mobility.
The bank has also said that it will ensure that all investments are made to renewable energy sources, while also increasing the impact of investment to support energy transformation outside the EU.
In 2018 the EIB invested almost 2bn in fossil fuel projects, but they have annouced that by 2021 the bank will cut all investments.
The bank has also set a new Emissions Performance Standard of 250g of CO2 per kWh, instead of 550g per kWh.
EIB President Werner Hoyer said: ‘Climate is the top issue on the political agenda of our time’
‘The EU bank has been Europe’s climate bank for many years. Today it has decided to make a leap in its ambition.’
‘We will stop financing fossil fuels and we will launch the most ambitious climate investment strategy of any public financial institution anywhere.’
Andrew McDowell, EIB Vice-President in charge of energy said: ‘Carbon emissions from the global energy industry reached a new record high in 2018.’
‘We must act urgently to counter this trend.’
‘Following a long discussion we have reached a compromise to end the financing by the EU Bank of unabated fossil fuel projects from the end of 2021.’
EIB Vice President Emma Navarro, in charge of climate action end environment, concluded: ‘To meet the Paris climate goals we urgently need to raise our level of ambition and that is precisely what we have done today.’
‘The European Union and its bank, the EIB, commit to mobilise investments on an unprecedented scale to support climate action projects around the world.’
A recent Environment Journal report looked at why major banks and financial institutions have been accused of trying to hide massive investments into the fossil fuel industry. However, we also found that there are some companies bucking the trend and proving that banks can be both ethical and transparent.
Photo Credit – Pixabay