The first European ‘climate’ bank

The world’s largest public bank, the European Investment Bank (EIB), has agreed to phase out its multibillion-euro financing for fossil fuels within the next two years to become the world’s first ‘climate bank’.

The bank has adopted a pioneering new lending strategy that aims to:

  • Align all of its financing activities with the goals of the Paris Agreement from the end of 2020.
  • Phase-out its financing of fossil fuels within the next two years – ending its financing of oil, gas, and coal projects after 2021.
  • Unlock EUR 1 trillion of climate action and environmental sustainable investment in the decade to 2030.

This decision has been described as “a significant victory” by Colin Roche of Friends of the Earth Europe, and its significance can be highlighted by the estimated €6.2million handed out by the EIB every day to fossil fuel companies between 2013 and 2018.3

Although 350.org celebrates the bank’s move, it also highlights the need for further work to be done in order for the EIB to reach its ‘climate bank’ aspirations.

Kate Cahoon, a 350.org campaigner, said: “The gas lobby has unfortunately managed to get Germany and the European Commission to insert some loopholes into the policy, which leave the door open for funding of dangerous fossil gas projects”.

350.org state that any project added to the ‘Projects of Common Interest’ (PCI) list before 2022 will still be eligible for EIB funding, and at present there are more than 50 fossil gas projects included.

However, as this list has yet to be finalised, there is still time to ensure that fossil fuel projects don’t get ‘locked in’.

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