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European Investment Bank launches new climate strategy & energy lending policy including divestment from fossil fuels

On 14 November 2019, the board of the European Investment Bank agreed on a new energy lending policy and strategy for climate action and enviornmental stability. The decision was informed by an open review process which involved intensive stakeholder engagement, and input from industry, institution, civil society and the public. Key parts of the new policy and strategy include investments that support a carbon-neutral European economy by 2050. This includes stopping all financing of fossil fuels by the end of 2021, supporting countries facing the most challenges in a just transisition, and gradually increasing financing dedicated to climate action to reach 50% of operations by 2025. 

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Article
18 November 2019

Official announcement

Author: Richard Willis, EIB

"EU Bank launches ambitious new climate strategy and Energy Lending Policy", 14 November 2019

The board of the European Investment Bank (EIB) [on 14 November] ... agreed [on] a new energy lending policy... EIB President Werner Hoyer [said] “...large portions of our planet will become uninhabitable, with disastrous consequences for people around the world... We will stop financing fossil fuels and... launch the most ambitious climate investment strategy of any public financial institution..." ...The new energy lending policy details five principles... [including]: prioritising... the new EU target under the EU Energy Efficiency Directive... enabling energy decarbonisation through increased support for low or zero carbon technology... [and] increasing financing for decentralised energy production... the EIB will no longer consider new financing for... fossil fuel energy projects [and has] set a new Emissions Performance Standard... EIB Board of Directors approved a new strategy for climate action and environmental sustainability [including]... [aligning] all [EIC] financing activities with the principles and goals of the Paris agreement by the end of 2020... EIB Vice-President Emma Navarro [said]: "...the EIB, commit to mobilise investments on an unprecedented scale to support climate action projects... In addition, we commit to align all EIB Group activities with the principles and goals of the Paris agreement by the end of 2020...”

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Article
9 August 2019

European Investment Bank announces new draft policy pledging to end all funding for fossil fuel projects by 2020

Author: Joe Ware and Katherine Kramer, Eco-Business

"European Investment Bank makes a big shift away from oil and gas", 5 August 2019

In December 2018, the bank had launched a public consultation on its energy lending policy, days after announcing, alongside the other multilateral development banks, that they intended to make their investment portfolios consistent with the 1.5ºC climate target enshrined in the Paris Agreement.

[On] Friday [...] the results of the consultation and the Bank’s draft energy lending policy were published.

Most exciting was the EIB’s pledge that: “The Bank will 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. These types of projects will not be presented for approval to the EIB Board beyond the end of 2020.” ...

The EIB draft policy covers all aspects oil and gas for energy—including its transport and combustion, not just its exploration and production...

The bank’s Board of Directors will be discussing the draft policy on September 10, and this welcome proposal needs to have their stamp of approval to actually become EIB policy. The board needs to show climate leadership and turn that draft into reality.

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