EIB proposes to ditch funding fossil fuels

29 July 2019

The world’s biggest public bank, the European Investment Bank (EIB), has proposed to ditch funding fossil fuel projects.

The EIB published on Friday 26 July its draft energy lending policy, which proposes a major switch in its lending policy, in reaction to climate crisis. If this policy draft is accepted by EU finance ministers in September, this would be a significant step forward in the campaign for a fossil free Europe.

 

The bank, which has funded major fossil fuel infrastructure projects, proposes to: “phase out support to energy projects reliant on fossil fuels: oil and gas production, infrastructure primarily dedicated to natural gas, power generation or heat based on fossil fuels.”

Colin Roche, fossil free campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe said:

This is a crack of light in the darkness – while the EU and national governments are floundering as the planet burns, the EU’s public bank has made the brave, correct and just proposal to stop funding fossil fuel projects.

“We are now urging the European Investment Bank’s board to endorse this step forward, and ensure there are no loopholes for fossil fuel funding.”

Fossil Free EIB - protesters in Luxembourg - (c) 350.org

EIB could be first multilateral lender to go fossil free

If it is adopted by the Bank’s board, it would make the EIB the first multilateral lender to stop supporting all fossil oil, coal and gas.

This step follows years of campaigns from civil society and grassroots activists and communities from across Europe. Over 70 groups called for the Bank to align itself with the Paris climate agreement by ending its funding of fossil fuel projects, in a letter launched by Counter Balance, Friends of the Earth and many others.

The EIB has been criticised for financing massive new fossil fuel projects, such as the €1.5 billion spent on the Trans Adriatic Pipeline. Now it is up to the EU member states, whose represenatives sit on the EIB board, Only they can stand in the way of progress.