The European Union’s bank, the European Investment Bank (EIB), has announced that it will end financing for fossil fuel energy projects from the end of 2021.
Future financing will accelerate clean energy innovation, energy efficiency and renewables, and will be aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement, the bank said in a statement.
“Climate is the top issue on the political agenda of our time,” said EIB President Werner Hoyer. “Scientists estimate that we are currently heading for 3-4°C 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.”
Stressing the need for cooperation, Mr Hoyer added: “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.”
Andrew McDowell, EIB vice president in charge of energy added: “Carbon emissions from the global energy industry reached a new record high in 2018. We must act urgently to counter this trend. The EIB’s ambitious energy lending policy is a crucial milestone in the fight against global warming. Following a long discussion we have reached a compromise to end the financing by the EU bank of unabated fossil fuel projects, including gas, from the end of 2021. I am grateful for all those who have contributed to the largest ever public consultation on EIB lending in recent months and energy expert colleagues who have outlined how the EU bank can drive global efforts to decarbonise energy.”
The EIB Group will aim to support one trillion euros worth of investments in climate action and environmental sustainability in the critical decade from 2021 to 2030.