European Investment Bank to cut funding for fossil fuels
The European Investment Bank has agreed to phase out funding for fossil fuels by 2021 and become the world’s first “climate bank”, it announced on Friday.
Energy projects applying for EIB funding from 2021 onwards will have to prove they can produce one kilowatt hour of energy while emitting less than 250 grams of carbon dioxide.
Gas projects would still be possible, but would need to be based on what the bank called "new technologies" such as carbon capture and storage, combining heat and power generation, or mixing in renewable gases with the fossil natural gas.
The decision was welcomed by green groups as a step towards the EU’s aim to be carbon-neutral by 2050.
Colin Roche, of Friends of the Earth Europe, called the decision “a significant victory” for the climate movement.
“Finally, the world’s largest public bank has bowed to public pressure and recognised that funding for all fossil fuels must end – and now all other banks, public and private, must follow their lead,” he said.
The EIB, the world’s largest multilateral financial institution, described its decision as a “quantum leap” in ambition.
“Climate is the top issue on the political agenda of our time,” said the bank’s president, Werner Hoyer.
“We will stop financing fossil fuels and launch the most ambitious climate investment strategy of any public financial institution anywhere.”
Since 2013, the EIB has funded €13.4bn of fossil fuel projects, with €2bn of those coming in the last year.