European Investment Bank to end fossil fuel financing in 2021

The European Investment Bank (EIB) will stop financing fossil fuel energy projects from the end of 2021. The board of the EIB agreed on a new energy lending policy on 14 November and confirmed the organisation’s “increased ambition in climate action and environmental sustainability”.

EIB President Werner Hoyer said: “Climate is the top issue on the political agenda of our time. Scientists estimate that we are currently heading for 3-4oC of temperature increase by the end of the century. If that happens, large portions of our planet will become uninhabitable, with disastrous consequences for people around the world.

“The EU bank has been Europe’s climate bank for many years. Today it has decided to make a quantum 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.

“I would like to thank the shareholders of the bank, the EU member states, for their cooperation over the past months. We look forward to working closely with them and with the EU Council of Ministers, with the European Commission, the European Parliament, international and financial institutions and, crucially, with the private sector, to support a climate-neutral European economy by 2050.”

The EIB’s new energy lending policy outlines five key principles that will form the basis of its future engagement in the energy sector:

  • Prioritising energy efficiency to support the new EU target under the EU Energy Efficiency Directive

  • Enabling energy decarbonisation through increased support for low or zero-carbon technology, aiming to meet a 32% renewable energy share throughout the EU by 2030

  • Increasing financing for decentralised energy production, innovative energy storage and e-mobility

  • Ensuring grid investment essential for new, intermittent energy sources like wind and solar, as well as strengthening cross-border interconnections

  • Increasing the impact of investment to support energy transformation outside the EU

Over the last five years, the EIB has provided more than €65 billion in financing for renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy distribution. Following the approval of its new energy lending policy, the EIB will no longer consider new financing for fossil fuel projects, including gas, from the end of 2021.

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